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3  3433  08188251  0 



l\  W^H 



DAVID   E.  JOHNSTON,  at  60. 








8TANDAHD    PTC.    &    PUB.    CO. 


V\  V  ^ ' 




J] 1906  L 

Copyright  1906 




I  have  had  in  mind  for  several  years  to  write  and  publish 
a  history  of  Mercer  County  and  its  people,  but  finding  on  re- 
search and  investigation  that  the  settlement  of  the  territory 
thereof  and  incidents  connected  with  the  life  of  its  people  are 
so  interwoven  with  that  of  the  people  who  first  crowned  and 
crossed  the  Alleghanies  and  made  settlements  on  and  along 
the  upper  waters  of  the  Clinch,  Sandy,  Guyandotte,  Coal,  and 
other  rivers  and  streams,  that  it  will  be  necessary  to  broaden 
the  scope  of  the  work  beyond  what  was  at  first  intended. 

Mercer  County  as  originally  created,  and  as  it  now  exists, 
embraces  territory  which  was  formerly  a  part  of  that  vast  do- 
main known  as  Augusta,  later,  and  in  succession,  Botetourt„ 
Fincastle,  Montgomery,  Greenbrier,  Wythe,  Monroe,  Tazewell^ 
and  Giles  Counties. 

The  early  history  of  the  County,  and  that  of  its  settlers  and 
people,  is  largely  common  all  those  who  occupy  the  territory 
referred  to. 

Their  long  sufferings,  dangerous  encounters  with  the  wild 
beasts  and  the  savages,  their  patient  endurance,  their  history 
during  and  after  the  close  of  the  war  between  the  States,  their 
manly  and  heroic  efforts  to  restore  and  reestablish  their  rights 
as  citizens  of  a  free  Republic,  not  less  renowned  than  their 
chivalric  deeds  in  war,  deserve  a  place  in  the  annals  of  history 
to  be  handed  down  to  succeeding  generations,  as  examples  of 
valor,  heroism  and  fortitude  worthy  of  emulation. 

The  desire  usually  possessed  by  civilized  men  to  learn  the 
history  and  character  of  their  ancestors,  who  they  were,  and 

whence  they  came,  excites  regret  that  this  history  is  the  more 
often  involved  in  obscurity;  no  one  has  tliought  it  necessary 
to  keep  a  correct  record  of  the  family. 

Tradition  alone,  depended  upon  to  supply  the  place  of  re- 
corded facts,  is  often  so  obscured  by  the  efflux  of  time  and 
other  causes,  that  it  cannot  always  be  relied  upon  as  a  safe 
guide  to  truth.  Yet  when  tradition  and  known  facts  are 
closely  coupled  together,  the  former  is  greatly  strengthened 
and  becomes  much  more  reliable. 

Our  ancestors  who  came  across  the  mountains  from  the 
East  and  settled  upon  the  Western  waters  were  not,  as  a  rule, 
college  bred  people ;  in  fact,  most  of  them  had  had  few  advant- 
ages along  this  line.  They  came  bringing  with  them  all  their 
world's  goods  of  w^hich  they  were  possessed,  consisting  usually 
of  a  horse  or  two,  a  cow,  rifle  gun,  a  dog,  and  such  an  amount 
of  household  furniture  as  could  be  carried  on  horses. 

It  is  important  as  well  as  a  matter  of  interest,  that  the  deeds 
of  heroism,  and  the  dangers  to  which  they  were  exposed,  as 
well  as  the  sufferings  of  those  who  won  and  redeemed  this 
great  wilderness  country  from  the  Savages  and  the  wild  beast 
should  be  truthfully  written.  Already  the  time  is  here  when 
the  names  of  many  of  our  ancestors  who  felled  the  forests, 
stood  on  the  frontier,  risked  their  lives,  and  endured  untold 
hardships,  have  been  forgotten.  Their  names  should,  as  far 
as  possible,  be  rescued  from  the  obliteration  of  time  and  their 
illustrious  deeds  recorded  upon  the  pages  of  history,  lest  they 
be  forgotten  or  left  to  be  preserved  only  in  the  indistinct  memo- 
rials of  tradition. 

With  this  view  and  to  this  end,  the  author  has  undertaken, 
with  the  best  lights  and  information  obtainable  by  him,  gath- 
ered from  the  most  reliable  sources  attainable,  to  record  the 
history  of  these  people.  It  cannot  and  will  not  of  necessity 
be  full  and  accurate,  and  much  that  would  be  of  great  interest 

to  those  of  the  later  generation  has  been  lost  and  cannot  be 

No  attempt  will  be  made  to  give  a  particular  history  of  all 
the  settlers  of  the  New  Kiver  Valley,  or  of  the  territory  re- 
ferred to,  but  will  be  confined  to  that  portion  of  the  said  terri- 
tory in  which  the  first  settlements  were  made  along  the  Middle- 
New  River  and  contiguous  territory,  and  to  record  local  inci- 
dents, coupling  therewith  biographical  sketches  of  families. 

David  E.  Johnston. 

Bluefield,  W.  Va.,  1905. 

Middle  New  River  Settlements. 


Vast  unexplored  domain  West  of  the  Alleghanies — Crowning 
and  Crossing  the  same — First  White  Man  to  see  New 
River — First  White  Man  West  of  this  River — Origin  of 
Name — Porter  Settles  at  Mouth  of  East  River — Salley, 
Howards  and  St.  Clair  on  Middle-Lower  New  River — 
Clinche  and  Castle  in  Clinch  Valley  prior  to  1748 — Thom- 
as Walker  and  party  cross  New  River,  1748 — Same  year 
Draper's  Ingles'  settlement  made — Adam  Harman  at  Gun- 
powder Spring — 1750  Dr.  Thomas  Walker  and  others  on 
the  Holstein  and  at  Cumberland  Gap — Christopher  Gist 
on  the  Ohio  and  visits  Mountain  Lake — Philip  Lybrook 
settles  at  Mouth  of  Sinking  Creek — John  Lewis  and  his 
son  Andrew  on  the  Greenbrier — James  Burke  discovers 
Burke's  Garden — Samuel  Culbertson  on  Culbertson's  Bot- 
tom— Thomas  Farley  on  New  River — Builds  a  fort — James 
Ellison  born  in  Farley's  Fort — French  and  Indian  War — 
Washington  on  the  Ohio — Indian  Depredations. 

The  country  embraced  by  the  New  River  Valley  belonged, 
at  the  time  the  first  settlements  were  made  therein  by  white 
people,  to  that  vast  unknown  domain  in  Augusta  County,  be- 
yond the  Alleghanies,  which  was  sometimes  erroneously  called 
"West  Augusta,"  stretching  from  the  top  of  the  Alleghanies 
Westward  to  the  Mississippi  River — if  not  to  the  uttermost 

The  country  at  the  time  mentioned  was  a  vast  unexplored 
wilderness  about  which  the  people  East  of  the  Alleghanies  had 
very  vague  and  indefinite  ideas.    Immediately  in  and  near  this 

8  New  River  Settlements 

valley,  about  or  a  little  before  tlie  white  people  came,  the  Can- 
awhay  tribe  of  Indians  occupied  the  valley  and  plateau,  now 
in  Carroll  and  Floyd  Counties,  Virginia,  and  from  the  name 
of  which  tribe  of  Indians,  the  New  and  Kanawha  Rivers  took 
the  name  of  Kanawha. 

Where  or  when  the  upper  part  of  this  same  river  came  to  be 
called  New  River  is  not  altogether  agreed.  The  late  Capt. 
Charles  R.  Boyd,  upon  the  authority  of  Judge  David  McComas, 
says  it  was  an  Indian  name  meaning  "New  Water."  Hardesty 
in  his  geographical  history,  says  that  "Captain  Byrd,  who  had 
been  employed  in  1764  to  open  a  road  from  the  James  River  to 
where  the  town  of  Abingdon  now  stands,  probably  using  Jef- 
ferson's map  of  Virginia  engraved  in  France  in  1755,  and  on 
which  this  river  did  not  appear,  named  it  New  River.  The 
late  Major  Jed  Hotchkiss  of  Staunton,  Virginia,  attributed 
the  name  to  a  man  by  the  name  "New,"  who  at  an  early  day 
kept  a  ferry  at  or  near  where  "Ingle's  Ferry"  was  afterwards 

The  first  white  man  who  is  supposed  to  have  entered  this 
valley,  was  Colonel  Abraham  Wood  in  1654.  Wood  lived  at 
the  Falls  of  the  Appomatox  near  where  the  present  city  of 
Petersburg,  Virginia,  now  stands,  and  being,  as  said,  of  an 
adventurous  turn  of  mind,  obtained  from  the  Government  au- 
thority to  open  trade  with  the  Western  Indians.  It  is  sup- 
posed, in  fact  stated,  that  Colonel  Wood  came  over  the  Alle- 
ghanies  at  a  place  now  and  long  known  and  called  Wood's 
Gap  in  the  present  county  of  Floyd,  and  passed  down  Little 
river  to  the  river  now  known  as  New  River,  and  seeing  a  river 
flowing  in  a  different  direction  from  those  up  the  course  of 
which  he  had  just  traveled,  he  took  it  to  be  a  new  river  and 
gave  to  it  his  own  name  "Wood's  River,"  and  it  so  appears 
on  some  of  the  oldest  maps  of  Virginia. 

So  far  as  known,  between  the  date  of  the  discovery  of  this 
river  by  Colonel  Wood,  Captain  Henry  Batte  in  1666,  Thomas 
Batte  and  party  in  1671,  John  Sailing  who  was  captured  by  the 
Indians  and  carried  over  this  river  to  the  West  thereof  in 


1730,  Salley,  the  Howards  and  St.  Clair  in  1742,  Dr.  Thomas 
(3)  Walker,  and  his  parties  in  1748-1750,  are  the  only  white 
men  that  had  seen  or  crossed  New  River,  or  penetrated  this 
vast  wilderness  country  prior  to  1748,  unless  it  were  the  three 
men  whose  names  are  hereinafter  mentioned. 

It  is  now  more  than  a  century  and  a  half  since  the  first 
white  settlement  was  made  in  the  New  River  Valley.  It  has 
been  claimed,  in  fact  conceded,  that  the  first  white  settlement 
was  made  in  the  year  of  1748  by  Ingles,  Drapers  and  others 
near  where  Blacksburg,  in  Montgomery  county,  Virginia,  now 
stands,  but  this  claim  is  now  and  has  been  for  many  years 
disputed  and  upon  an  investigation  it  appears  from  discover- 
ies made  at  the  mouth  of  East  River  at  its  junction  with  New 
River  in  Giles  County,  Virginia,  that  in  the  year  of  1780,  when 
Mr.  John  Toney  (1)  and  his  family,  from  Buckingham  County, 
Virginia,  settled  at  that  place,  they  found  the  decayed  re- 
mains of  a  cabin  and  evidences  that  some  of  the  land  around 
the  same  had  been  cleared,  and  nearby  they  found  a  grave  with 
a  rough  stone  at  the  head,  on  which  was  engraved,  "Mary 
Porter  was  killed  by  the  Indians  November  28,  1742.  (2)  "Then 
followed  something  respecting  Mr.  Porter,  but  the  crumbling 
away  of  the  stone  during  the  century  and  a  half  which  has 
elapsed  since  its  erection,  has  rendered  it  illegible." — Hardes- 
ty's  Geographical  His.  405. 

This  Ingles-Draper  settlement  was  called  "Draper's  Mead- 
ows," but  we  are  told  that  the  name  was  changed  by  Colonel 
William  Preston  to  "Smithfield,"  in  honor  of  his  wife,  who 
was  a  Miss  Smith  of  Louisa  County,  Virginia. 

While  the  "Draper's  Meadows"  settlement  was  not  made 
directly  on  the  New  River,  it  was  not  far  away  and  the  drain- 
age of  the  waters  in  the  vicinity  is  into  this  river. 

(1).  Built  the  brick  dwelling  house  at  mouth  of  East  River,  the 
first  brick  house  built  in  Giles  County. 

(2).  This  stone  with  engraving  thereon  often  seen  by  Dr.  Phillip  H. 
Killey  and  Mr.  G.  W.  Toney. 

(3).  Upon  the  authority  of  Haywood,  Vaughan  of  Amelia  County, 
Va.,  with  a  number  of  Indian  traders  crossed  New  River  about  Ingle's 
ferry  in  1740. 

10  New  River  Settlements 

Adam  Harman,  who  came  with  the  Ingles,  Drapers  and 
others  from  Pattonsburg,  in  the  Virginia  Valley,  shortly  after 
the  planting  of  the  Colony,  located,  probably  in  the  Spring 
of  1749,  on  New  River  at  the  place  now  known  as  Eggleston's 
Springs,  but  called  by  the  early  settlers  "Gunpowder  Spring," 
from  the  resemblance  of  its  odor  and  taste  to  that  of  gun 
powder.  This  settlement  of  Harman,  save  that  of  Porter  at 
the  mouth  of  East  River,  is  believed  to  be  the  oldest  settlement 
made  by  white  people  in  what  is  now  the  territory  of  Giles 

Philip  Lybrook,  from  Pennsylvania,  but  most  likely  born  in 
Holland,  and  of  whom  we  shall  have  occasion  to  hereafter 
speak,  settled  at  the  mouth  of  Sinking  Creek  on  the  New  River, 
a  short  distance  below  Harman's  settlement,  about  1750.  It  is 
not  believed  that  Lybrook,  the  correct  spelling  of  whose  name 
in  his  native  tongue  is  "Leibroch,"  came  with  the  Drapers 
Meadows  settlers,  but  subsequently.  His  was  the  third  settle- 
ment made  by  the  whites  in  what  is  now  Giles  County. 

It  was  upon  Harman  at  Gunpowder  Spring  in  April,  1749, 
that  the  Indians  committed  depredations  by  stealing  his  fur 
skins,  but  they  remained  peaceable  and  quiet  until  the  break- 
ing out  of  the  French  and  Indian  war  in  the  year  of  1753, 
which  continued  on  the  border  for  more  than  ten  years. 

It  seems  that  Harman  suspected  a  man  by  the  name  of  Cas- 
tle as  being  in  league  with  and  as  prompting  the  Indians  to 
steal  his  fur  skins.  Castle  was  at  the  time  on  a  hunting  expe- 
dition with  the  Indians,  who  were  now  friendly,  in  what  is  now 
called  Clastleswoods  on  the  Clinch  River  in  the  Western  por- 
tion of  the  now  County  of  Russell.  Harman  obtained  from  a 
magistrate  of  Augusta  County  a  warrant  for  the  arrest  of 
Castle,  and  with  a  posse,  among  them  a  large,  stout,  athletic 
man  by  the  name  of  Clinche,  who  had  been  a  hunter  in  that 
section,  he  set  out  to  accomplish  his  purpose,  but  met  with  seri- 
ous resistance  from  Castle  and  the  Indians  with  whom  he  was 
engaged  in  hunting,  and  forced  to  beat  a  retreat,  in  which  his 

1654-1753  11 

man  Clinche  was  thrown  from  his  horse  in  crossing  tlie  river. 
Being  a  lame  man  from  an  attack  of  white  swelling,  the  In- 
dians supposing  him  disabled  from  the  fall,  one  of  them  dashed 
into  the  river  and  seized  him,  but  the  great,  strong  man  was  an 
over  match  for  his  Indian  enemy,  and  succeeded  in  drowning 
him,  hence  the  name  ''Clinche  River"  was  given,  as  the  story 
goes.  Dr.  Thomas  Walker  in  his  journal  kept  of  his  journey 
to  and  through  Cumberland  Gap  and  return  in  1750,  says: 
"Clinche  River  was  named  for  a  hunter  whose  name  was 
Clinche."  It  therefore  seems  altogether  probable  that,  except 
Sailing,  Porter,  Castle  and  Clinche  were  the  first  white  men  to 
cross  the  Middle-New  River  and  to  explore  the  territory  West 
thereof.  It  is  stated  upon  the  authority  of  Mr.  Virgil  A.  Lewis 
in  his  recent  history,  as  well  as  by  others,  that  in  1742,  Salley, 
the  Howards  and  St.  Clair  crossed  the  New  River  below  the 
mouth  of  Greenbrier  and  passed  over  on  to  Coal  River,  to 
which  they  gave  that  name. 

In  the  year  of  1748  Dr.  Thomas  Walker,  of  Albemarle  Coun- 
ty, Colonel  James  Patton,  Colonel  John  Buchanan,  Colonel 
James  Wood  and  Major  Charles  Campbell,  from  the  neighbor- 
hood of  Pattonsburg,  on  the  James  River,  made  an  excursion 
into  what  is  now  known  as  Southwestern  Virginia.  The  pre- 
cise route  this  party  traveled  after  leaving  the  New  River,  or 
how  far  they  went  Westward,  seems  to  be  left  in  doubt.  This 
trip  must  not  be  confused  with  Dr.  Walker's  second  one  across 
the  New  River  westward  through  Cumberland  Gap  and  into 
Kentucky  in  1750,  in  which  his  companions  were  Ambrose 
Powell,  William  Tomlinson,  Colby  Chew,  Henry  Lawless  and 
John  Hughes.  This  party  on  this  trip  in  1750  gave  names,  in 
some  instances  their  own,  to  several  mountains  and  streams, 
and  on  their  return  home  came  by  way  of  the  site  of  the  pres- 
ent city  of  Pocahontas,  Virginia,  and  along  the  Bluestone 
and  Flat  Top  mountains  near  the  present  town  of  Hinton,  and 
thence  up  the  Greenbrier.  See  Appendix  to  "His.  South- 
west Virginia,"  by  Summers. 

From  sketches  taken  from  the  diary  of  Dr.  Walker  and  pub- 

12  New  Kiver  Settlements 

lished  by  Major  Jed  Hotchkiss  some  years  ago,  it  appears  that 
Dr.  Walker  was  the  first  white  man  to  discover  the  great  coal 
deposit  in  the  Flat  Top  region.  In  his  dairy  he  says  that  near 
the  mouth  of  a  small  creek  at  the  base  of  a  mountain  he  dis- 
covered a  large  bed  of  stone  coal  lying  to  the  nortli  and  north- 

As  already  stated  the  Drapers  Meadows  settlement  was 
made  in  1748.  Whether  the  settlers  made  this  location  prior  to 
Dr.  Walker's  first  journey  across  New  River  or  after  his  re- 
turn, does  not  certainly  apj^ear,  but  it  is  evident  that  some  of 
the  parties  who  established  themselves  here  must  have  had 
some  knowledge  of  the  country  before  the  date  of  settlement. 

In  1750-1751  Christopher  Gist,  the  employee  of  the  Ohio 
Company,  explored  the  country  west  of  New  River  through  a 
portion  of  Kentucky,  returning  through  what  is  now  Wise 
County,  Virginia,  giving  his  name  to  a  river  now  in  that 
County,  as  well  also  as  a  station,  moving  east  along  the  water- 
shed dividing  the  Clinch,  Sandy  and  the  Bluestone,  he  passed 
through  the  territory  of  what  is  now  the  County  of  Mercer, 
crossing  New  River  about  eight  miles  above  the  mouth  of 
Bluestone,  and  not  far  below  the  lower  part  of  Culbertson's- 
Crump's  Bottom,  now  in  Summers  County,  and  on  the  11th 
day  of  May  discovered  on  top  of  a  very  high  mountain  a  lake 
or  pond  about  three-fourths  of  a  mile  long,  northeast  and 
southwest,  and  one-fourth  of  a  mile  wide,  which  is  supposed  to 
be  what  is  now  known  as  Mountain  Lake,  in  Giles  County,  Vir- 
ginia.— ''His.  So.  W.  Va./'  Summers. 

If  tradition  well  authenticated  is  to  be  taken  when  support- 
ed by  well  attested  evidence,  then  Christopher  Gist  never  saw 
Mountain  Lake  in  Giles  County.  (1)  The  earliest  settlers  in 
the  vicinity  of  the  lake  and  who  lived  longest,  left  the  unbro- 
ken tradition  that  when  they  first  knew  the  place  where  the 
lake  now  exists  tliere  was  a  deep  depression  between  the  moun- 
tains into  which  flowed  the  water  from  one  or  more  springs 

(1).     If  Gist  really  saw  this  lake  in  1751,  then  it  is  evident  that 
water  had  escaped  before  17G8. 

1654-1753  13 

which  found  its  outlet  at  the  northeastern  portion  of  the  de- 
pression, and  in  this  gorge  or  depression  was  a  favorite  salting 
ground  in  which  the  settlers  salted  their  cattle  by  whose  con- 
tinual tramping  the  crevices  through  which  the  water  from  the 
springs  found  an  escape,  became  closed  and  the  depression  be- 
gan to  fill  with  water.  This  filling  began  in  1804  and  by  1818 
the  water  in  the  depression  had  risen  to  about  one-half  its 
present  height. 

Kerchival  in  his  "History  of  the  Valley,"  at  page  343  gives 
a  conversation  had  by  him  in  the  year  of  1836  with  Colonel 
Christian  Snidow  and  John  Lybrook,  which  fully  substantiates 
the  statement  above  made,  that  the  lake  did  not  exist  when  the 
first  settlers  knew  the  place.  To  reconcile  this  statement  with 
that  of  Gist  it  is  fair  to  presume  that  after  he  saw  this  lake  in 
1751,  the  water  had  escaped  through  the  crevices  of  the  rocks 
and  had  disappeared  before  Snidow,  Lybrook,  and  others  saw 
it  in  about  1768,  and  that  afterwards  it  repeated  the  process 
of  refilling.  It  is  reputed  to  be  rapidly  receding,  having  fall- 
en several  feet  within  the  past  two  years. 

In  1753,  Andrew  Culbertson  settled  on  New  River  on  what 
has  been  known  since  his  settlement  as  Culbertson's,  or 
Crump's  Bottom,  now  in  Summers  County,  formerly  a  part 
of  the  territory  of  Mercer  County.  This  was  the  first  white 
settlement  made  within  the  boundaries  of  Mercer  County. 

Andrew  Culbertson,  who  lived  in  Pennsylvania,  near  to  or 
where  the  town  of  Chambersburg  is  now  situate,  was  compell- 
ed on  account  of  the  breaking  out  of  the  French  and  Indian 
war  and  fear  of  Indians  to  leave  his  land.  He  sold  his  claim 
to  Samuel  Culbertson,  perhaps  his  brother.  The  country  for 
some  years  was  so  infested  with  Indians  from  northwest  of 
the  Ohio,  that  the  property  appeared  to  be  deserted  and  aban- 
doned and  in  fact  was.  In  the  meantime  other  persons  began 
to  assert  claim  to  the  land,  until  finally  the  claims  of  all  be- 
came vested  in  Thomas  Farley  who  in  March,  1775,  procured 
the  land  to  be  surveyed,  took  a  certificate  thereof  in  order  to 
obtain  a  grant  from  the  Virginia  Land  OfiQce,  then  expected 

14  New  River  Settlements 

to  be  shortly  opened,  and  then  assigned  his  right  to  James 
Biirnsides.     (Byrnside.) 

Long  litigation  followed  over  the  right  and  ownership  to 
this  land  or  a  part  thereof  between  the  Culbertsons,  Reid,  and 
Byrnside. — Wythe's  Chancery  Reports,  150. 

Thomas  Farley  from  Albemarle  County,  Virginia,  came  to 
New  River  Valley  shortly  after  the  coming  of  Culbertson  and 
immediately  on  locating  on  the  land  referred  to,  erected  a 
fort  near  the  lower  portion  of  the  bottom  on  the  south  bank 
of  the  river,  near  what  is  known  as  "Warford."  (1) 

This  fort  was  known  as  Farley's  and  in  which  James  Ellison, 
whose  father  came  from  the  State  of  New  Jersey,  was  born  in 
May,  1778.  The  father  of  James  Ellison  was  in  the  battle  of 
Point  Pleasant,  and  after  his  return  to  his  home  on  Culbert- 
son's  Bottom,  was  on  the  19th  day  of  October,  1780,  while  at 
work  about  a  corn  crib,  attacked  by  a  party  of  seven  or  eight 
Indians,  wounded  in  the  shoulder,  captured,  and  carried  some 
fifteen  miles,  escaping  the  day  after  his  capture.  In  1774  a 
woman  was  killed  on  Culbertson's  Bottom,  by  the  Indians,  and 
about  the  same  time  a  man  by  the  name  of  Shockley,  on  a  hill 
above  the  bottom,  which  still  bears  the  name  of  "Shockley's 
Hill."     « 

The  James  Ellison  spoken  of,  became  a  distinguished  and 
successful  Baptist  minister,  and  was  instrumental  in  planting 
a  number  of  Baptist  churches  in  this  section,  among  them  the 
Guyandotte  Baptist  church,  in  1812,  where  Oceana,  in  Wyo- 
ming County,  is  now  situated.  He  was  the  father  of  the  late 
Matthew  Ellison,  of  Beckley,  West  Virginia,  and  who  was  re- 
garded the  most  distinguished  Baptist  preacher  in  this  section 
in  his  day. 

James  Burke,  who  was  one  of  the  Drapers  Meadows  settlers, 
on  a  hunting  exedition  in  1753,  wounded  an  elk  and  followed 
it  through  what  is  now  called  Henshue's  Gap,  into  that  beauti- 
ful body  of  magnificent  land  which  has  since  borne  the  name  of 

(1).  Shortly  after  tlie  opening  of  Dunmore's  war  in  1774,  a  fort  was 
erected  at  the  mouth  of  Joshua's  Run,  on  Culbertson's  Bottom,  called 
Fort  Field. 

1654-1753  15 

Burke's  Garden,  about  which  and  the  discoverer  more  will 
be  said  later  on.  The  Indian  (1)  name  for  this  beautiful  land 
was  "Great  Swamp," 



Exploring  the  Mississippi  Valley — French  and  Indian  War — 
Washington  on  the  Ohio — Virginia  Raises  Troops — Colo- 
nel Fry  Sick  and  Command  Devolves  on  Washington — 
Fort  Necessity — General  Braddock  Defeated  on  the  Mon- 
ongahela — Depredations  on  the  Virginia  Border — De- 
struction of  Drapers  Meadows  Settlers — Mrs.  Ingles  a 
Prisoner — Philip  Barger  Killed — Mrs.  Ingles  Escapes — 
Captain  William  Ingles  and  Governor  Dinwiddie  plan  an 
Expedition  Against  the  Ohio  Indians — ^Major  Andrew 
Lewis  Ordered  to  raise  a  force  for  the  destruction  of  the 
Indian  Towns  on  the  Ohio — Lewis  Marches  in  February, 
1756,  Crosses  New  River,  North  Fork  of  the  Holstein, 
through  Burke's  Garden,  over  the  head  of  the  Clinch  and 
on  to  the  Sandy — Vaux's  Fort  Destroyed — 1756  Settle- 
ments West  of  New  River — Joseph  Howe  and  Others  on 
Back  Creek  West  of  New  River,  1760 — Indian  MaRiuding 
Party  Near  Ingle's  Ferry  Attacked  by  Ingles,  Harman 
and  Others — Captain  Henry  Harman,  Adam  Harman — 
Herrman — One  Branch  of  the  Family  from  North  Caro- 
lina and  the  Other  from  Virginia  Valley — New  River 
Lead  Mines  Discovered  by  Colonel  Chiswell — Indian  In- 
cursion into  Jackson's  River,  Roanoke  and  Catawba  Set- 
tlements— Pack,  Swope  and  Pitman  on  the  New  River — 
Captain  Audley  Paul  on  Lower  New  River  in  1763 — ^Mas- 
sacres  by  Indians  in  Greenbrier  Section  in  1763 — Butler, 
Carr  and  Others,  Hunters  on  head  of  Clinch,  1766 — This 
Year  Family  of  John  Snidow  Settle  at  Mouth  of  Sinking 
Creek  on  the  New  River, 

The  Mississippi  Valley  was  first  explored  and  settled  by  the 
French.    They  had  a  line  of  forts  extending  from  New  Orleans 

(1).  When  first  seen  by  white  men,  contained  a  large  number  of 
acres  of  wet,  marshy  land,  evidently  once  a  lake.  The  waters  flowing 
out  of  Burke's  Garden  are  the  head  springs  of  Wolf  Creek. 

16  New  Riveu  Settlements 

to  Qneboc,  one  of  whicli  being  Fort  du  Qiienne,  where  Pittsburg 
now  stands.  The  English  were  jealous  of  these  niovenienta, 
which  jealousy  at  last  ripened  into  open  hostility,  but  before 
proceeding  to  open  acts  of  war,  the  English  sought  to  gain 
possession  of  the  Western  country  by  throwing  a  large  white 
population  into  it  by  means  of  land  companies,  to  whom  large 
grants  for  land  were  made.  The  Ohio  Coni|>any  with  a  grant 
of  .")()(),000  acres  on  the  south  side  of  the  Ohio  between  Monon- 
gahela  and  the  Kanawha;  the  Greenbrier  Company,  at  the  head 
of  which  was  John  Lewis  of  Augusta,  obtained  authority  to 
locate  10{),(l()0  acres  on  the  Greenbrier  and  its  waters,  and  the 
Loyal  Company,  with  a  grant  of  800,000  acres  with  authority 
to  locate  the  same  from  the  North  Carolina  line  north  and 

Each  of  these  land  companies  proceeded  to  locate  their 
lands,  and  in  1751  Colonel  John  Lewis  and  his  son,  Andrew, 
afterward  a  distinguished  General,  surveyed  the  Greenbrier 
tract,  including  ''Marlinton's  Bottom,"  on  the  Greenbrier 
River,  on  which  is  now  situate  the  town  of  Marlinton,  the 
County  seat  of  Pocahontas  County,  where  they  found  Jacob 
]\Iarlin  and  Stephen  Sewell.  The  Loyal  Company  surveyed  a 
large  part  of  the  lands  granted  to  it,  even  extending  its  surveys 
into  what  is  now  Giles  County,  Virginia,  about  one  of  which 
tracts  a  controversy  arose  and  was  decided  by  the  Supreme 
Court  of  A})peals  of  Virginia  in  July,  1834.  French  vs  Loyal 
Company,  Hth  Leigh's  K.  080. 

The  movements  of  the  English  were  closely  watched  by  the 
French,  wlio.  understanding  their  design,  determined  to  defeat 

They  accordingly  crossed  Lake  Champlain, built  ('rown  Point, 
and  fortified  certain  positions  on  the  waters  of  the  upper 
Ohio.  In  the  year  of  1752,  on  the  Miami,  a  collision  occurred 
between  some  of  the  French  soldiers  and  the  English  traders 
and  Indians,  in  which  some  of  the  Indians  were  killed  and 
some  of  the  whites  were  taken  prisoners.  This  was  the  begin- 
ning of  what  is  known  as  the  French  and  Indian  War,  which 

1654-1753  17 

resulted  in  the  loss  to  France  of  all  her  territory  east  of  the 

Governor  Dinwiddle  of  Virginia,  arrived  in  that  Colony  in 

1752,  and  viewing  with  alarm  the  encroachments  of  the  French, 
dispatched  George  Washington  on  a  commission  to  the  French 
Commandant  on  the  Ohio. 

Washington  left  Williamsburg  on  the  31st  day  of  October, 

1753,  and  proceeded  by  way  of  Romney,  in  Hampshire  County, 
where  he  remained  one  night,  and  finally  reached  the  French 
post  on  the  Ohio,  made  known  his  commission  to  the  French 
Commandant,  who  replied  that  it  "did  not  become  him  to  dis- 
cuss civil  matters."  Washington  returned  immediately  to 
Williamsburg  and  reported  the  failure  of  his  mission.  Under 
instructions  from  the  English  government  to  raise  a  force  of 
men  to  build  and  occupy  two  forts  on  the  Ohio,  the  House  of 
Burgesses  voted  10,000  pounds  and  the  raising  of  a  regiment 
of  men,  the  command  of  which  was  given  to  Colonel  Joshua 
Fry  as  Commandant,  with  George  Washington  as  Lieutenant- 
Colonel.  Fry  was  taken  sick  on  the  journey  and  the  command 
devolved  upon  Washington.  These  troops  left  Alexandria, 
Virginia,  in  April,  and  arrived  at  Will's  Creek  on  the  20th 
of  the  same  month,  and  on  the  28th  of  May  reached  a  place 
called  Redstone,  where  they  encountered  a  French  and  Indian 
force,  which  they  attacked,  killing  ten  and  taking  the  rest 
prisoners.  From  these  prisoners  Washington  learned  that  a 
large  force  of  French  and  Indians  were  in  his  front;  neverthe- 
less he  continued  his  march  to  the  Great  Meadows,  where  he 
halted  and  built  a  fort,  calling  it  "Fort  Necessity."  On  the 
third  day  of  July,  at  11  o'clock  a.  m.,  the  enemy  assailed  Wash- 
ington's works  with  vigor,  and  attempted  to  carry  them  by 
assault,  but  were  repulsed  with  loss.  The  battle  however,  con- 
tinued with  great  fury  until  well  into  the  night.  At  the  end 
of  a  nine  hours  engagement  and  after  severe  loss  to  the  enemy, 
the  French  Commandant  Count  de  Viliers,  sent  in  a  flag  of 
truce,  praising  the  gallantry  of  the  Virginians,  and  offering 
to  treat  for  a  surrender  of  the  works  on  honorable  terms.    His 

18  New  River  Settlements 

proposals  were  accepted,  and  the  next  morning  the  treaty  was 
concluded,  and  the  Virginians  took  up  their  line  of  march  for 
their  homes.  The  French  and  Indians  numbered  1,000  men. 
{Peyton's  Augusta.) 

It  seems  that  Washington  on  his  march  to  the  Great  Mead- 
ows was  joined  by  a  Company  of  soldiers  from  South  Carolina, 
who  were  with  him  at  the  surrender  of  Fort  Necessity. 

Being  now  fully  satisfied  that  war  was  inevitable,  the 
British  cabinet  encouraged  the  Colonies  to  unite  for  defense 
or  aggression,  as  might  be  necessary,  and  a  plan  to  this  effect 
was  duly  signed  in  1754. 

In  the  Spring  of  1755  the  colonial  forces  attacked  the  French 
at  four  different  points.  Nova  Scotia,  Crown  Point,  Niagara, 
and  on  the  Ohio  River.  Against  the  French  on  the  Ohio,  oper- 
ations were  conducted  by  General  Braddock,  who  arrived  from 
England  in  February  of  that  year  with  two  regiments.  Vir- 
ginia raised  eight  hundred  men  to  join  Braddock,  who  arrived 
at  Alexandria,  then  called  Bellhaven,  and  appointed  Washing- 
ton his  aide-de-camp.  Braddock  dispatched  one  company  of 
colonial  troops  under  Captain  Thomas  Lewis  of  Augusta,  to 
the  Greenbrier  country  to  build  a  stockade  fort  and  prevent 
Indian  raids  on  the  white  settlements  in  that  region.   - 

The  captains  commanding  companies  in  the  Virginia  troops, 
which  served  under  Braddock  in  his  march  to  the  Monongahela 
were  Waggener,  Cock,  Hogg,  Stephens,  Poulson,  Pemronny, 
Mercer  and  Stuart. 

Braddock  with  his  command  of  about  twenty-two  hundred 
men,  left  Alexandria  on  the  20th  day  of  April,  and  crossed  the 
Monongahela  River  on  the  9th  day  of  July,  1755,  where  he 
fell  into  an  ambuscade  of  French  and  Indians.  He  was  mor- 
tally wounded,  and  his  army  after  sustaining  fearful  loss  was 
routed  and  put  to  flight.  But  for  the  courage  and  bravery  of 
Washington  and  his  Virginians,  Braddock's  whole  force  would 
have  been  annihilated.  The  Colonial  and  British  loss  in  this 
engagement  was  seven  hundred  and  seventy-seven  (777)  killed 
and  wounded. 

1654-1753  19 

This  defeat  spread  wide  alarm  throughout  Virginia,  and 
aroused  the  people  to  renewed  energies  for  the  defense  of  the 

It  may  here  be  noted  that  among  the  Virginians  who  sur- 
vived this  battle,  and  were  afterwards  distinguished  in  our 
annals,  were  Washington,  Andrew  and  William  Lewis,  Mat- 
thews, Field,  and  Grant. 

Following  this  disaster  of  Braddock  and  his  army,  devasta- 
tions and  inhuman  murders  were  perpetrated  by  the  French 
and  Indians  during  the  summer  on  the  western  borders  of  Vir- 
ginia and  Pennsylvania. 

As  a  result  of  Braddock's  defeat,  the  whole  frontier  of  West- 
ern Virginia  was  thrown  open  to  the  ravages  of  the  Indians, 
who  crossed  the  Alleghanies  and  pushed  into  Augusta,  the 
lower  Valley  and  New  Eiver  settlements,  torturing  and  mur- 
dering men,  women  and  children.  Such  was  the  distress  oc- 
casioned by  these  butcheries  that  Washington  in  one  of  his 
letters  to  Governor  Dinwiddle  says,  "The  supplicating  tears  of 
the  women  and  the  moving  petitions  of  the  men  melt  me  into 
such  deadly  sorrow,  that  I  solemnly  declare  that  if  I  know  my 
own  mind  I  could  offer  myself  a  willing  sacrifice  to  the  butch- 
ering enemy,  provided  that  it  would  contribute  to  the  people's 

During  all  the  years,  beginning  with  the  year  1753  to  1763 
the  Indians  continued  their  barbarities  along  the  Virginia  bor- 
der. We  must  now  turn  to  events  transpiring  in  the  New  River 

Notwithstanding  that  Drapers  Meadows  settlement  was  far 
from  the  Ohio,  and  apparently  safe  from  any  probability  of  at- 
tack from  any  quarter,  and  although  these  settlers  must  have 
been  aware  that  war  was  then  being  waged  by  the  Indians 
against  the  whites,  they  took  no  reasonable  precaution  for 
their  safety,  but  on  Sunday,  the  8th  day  of  July,  1755,  the 
day  before  Braddock's  defeat  on  the  Monongahela,  they  per- 
mitted themselves  to  be  surprised  by  a  band  of  marauding 
Shawnees  from  North  of  the  Ohio,  who  killed,  wounded  and 

20  New  River  Settlements 

captured  every  person  present.  The  killed  were  Colonel  James 
Patton,  Mrs.  George  Draper,  Casper  Barrier,  and  a  child  of 
John  Draper,  James  Cull ;  wounded,  Mrs.  William  Ingles,  Mrs. 
John  Draper  and  Henry  Leonard,  captured.  After  putting 
their  plunder  and  the  women  and  children  on  horses,  they  set 
fire  to  the  buildings,  and  with  their  prisoners  began  their  re- 
treat to  the  Ohio,  passing  on  their  way,  and  not  far  from  the 
scene  of  the  tragedy,  the  house  of  Philip  Barger,  an  old  white 
haired  man,  whose  head  they  cut  off,  put  in  a  bag,  and  took 
it  with  them  to  the  house  of  Philip  Lybrook  at  the  mouth  of 
Sinking  Creek,  and  where  they  left  it,  telling  Mrs.  Lybrook 
to  look  in  the  bag  and  she  would  find  an  acquaintance. 

The  morning  of  the  attack  upon  the  settlers  of  Drapers 
Meadows  Colonel  Patton  had  sent  his  nephew,  young  William 
Preston,  over  to  Philip  Lybrook's,  on  Sinking  Creek,  to  get 
him  to  come  over  and  help  next  day  with  the  harvest,  which 
was  ready  to  cut.  Preston  and  Lybrook  instead  of  following 
the  river,  crossed  the  mountains,  probably  by  the  place  where 
Newport,  in  Giles  County,  is  now  situated,  and  thus  doubtless 
escaped  death  or  capture.  Of  the  facts  and  circumstances  at- 
tending the  attack  on  this  settlement,  the  killing,  wounding 
and  capture  of  all  present,  of  the  journey  of  the  prisoners  to 
Ohio,  the  escape  and  return  home  of  Mrs.  Ingles,  the  writer 
is  largely  indebted  to  the  authentic,  pathetic  account  by  the 
late  Dr.  John  P.  Hale,  of  Charleston,  West  Virginia,  in  his 
book  "Trans-Alleghany  Pioneers." 

Just  why  the  Indians  did  not  disturb  the  families  of  Adam 
Harman  and  Philip  Lybrook,  whose  settlements  were  imme- 
diately on  the  river  and  along  the  trace  the  Indians  must  have 
traveled  in  going  to  and  returning  from  Drapers  Meadows, 
cannot  well  be  explained.  These  Indians  with  their  prison- 
ers passed  down  New  River,  crossing  at  the  ford  above  the 
mouth  of  Bluestone,  thence  across  what  is  called  White  Oak 
Mountain,  the  northeastern  extension  of  the  Flat  Top,  by  way 
of  where  Beckley,  in  Raleigh  County,  is  now  situate,  the  old 

1654-1753  21 

Indian  trail  passed  at  what  is  now  the  junction  of  the  prin- 
cipal streets  of  the  town,  and  on  to  the  head  of  Paint  Creek 
and  down  to  the  Kanawha.  Thus  it  will  be  seen  that  they 
passed  over  the  territory  of  Mercer  County.  This  trail  up 
Paint  Creek,  and  either  by  Pipe  Stem  Knob  or  mouth  of  Big 
Bluestone,  was  one  of  their  frequently  traveled  ways  to  the 
East  River  and  New  River  settlements.  Paint  Creek  took 
its  name  from  several  trees  standing  thereon  painted  by  the 
Indians  as  one  of  their  guides  or  land  marks  on  their  maraud- 
ing expeditions  into  the  white  settlements  and  on  their  re- 
turn they  by  marks  on  these  trees  would  indicate  the  number 
of  scalps  taken. 

Governor  Dinwiddle  had  on  August  11th,  1755  been  inform- 
ed of  the  death  of  Colonel  Patton  and  the  destruction  of  the 
Drapers  Meadows  settlement,  as  he  refers  to  same  in  a  letter 
of  that  date  to  Captain  Andrew  Lewis. 

Mrs.  William  Ingles  who  was  captured  by  the  Indians  at 
Drapers  Meadows,  and  carried  by  them  to  their  town  North 
of  the  Ohio,  and  later  to  Big  Bone  Lick,  in  Kentucky,  escaped 
in  the  fall  of  the  same  year  with  an  old  Dutch  woman,  and 
they  made  their  way  up  the  Ohio,  Kanawha  and  New  Rivers 
to  the  settlements.  Evidently,  from  what  subsequently  hap- 
pened. Captain  William  Ingles,  the  husband  of  Mrs.  Ingles, 
very  shortly  after  her  return,  went  to  Williamsburg  to  lay 
before  Governor  Dinwiddle  the  situation  of  affairs  on  the 
border.  Governor  Dinwiddle  writes  on  December  15th,  1755, 
to  Colonel  Stuart  and  to  Captains  Hogg,  Preston,  Smith,  Rich- 
ard Pearls  and  Woodson,  of  the  intention  to  take  the  Shaw- 
nee towns  on  the  Ohio  River,  and  in  his  letter  to  Preston 
and  Smith  he  refers  to  the  bearer  thereof  as  Mr.  Ingles,  who 
evidently  was  Captain  William  Ingles,  who,  while  at  Wil- 
liamsburg with  the  Governor,  originated  and  planned  the 
Sandy  expedition  against  the  Shawnees  whose  towns  were 
situated  on  the  lower  side  of  the  Scioto  on  the  North  bank 
of  the  Ohio  opposite  the  present  city  of  Portsmouth.    In  about 

22  New  Eiver  Settlements 

1767  a  great  flood  in  the  Ohio  overran  their  towns  and  they 
moved  up  to  Chillicothe. 

Governor  Dinwiddie  in  a  letter  to  Major  Andrew  Lewis, 
dated  February  Gth,  1756,  and  which  seems  to  have  been  writ- 
ten but  a  few  days  before  the  starting  of  the  Sandy  expedi- 
tion, says :  "The  distance  by  Evans'  map  is  not  two  hundred 
miles  to  the  upper  towns  of  the  Shawnees,  however,  at  once 
begin  your  march."  This  map  was  made  by  Lewis  Evans,  a 
copy  of  which  can  be  found  in  the  Library  of  Congress,  and 
the  distance  estimated  by  Governor  Dinwiddie  from  the  far- 
ther settlements  to  the  Shawnee  towns  on  the  Ohio  Kiver,  at 
the  mouth  of  the  Scioto,  was  not  far  from  correct. 

Richard  Pearis  was  a  captain  of  militia  of  Augusta  County 
and  further  had  charge  of  a  company  of  friendly  Cherokee 
Indians.  He  is  often  referred  to  in  the  letters  of  Governor 
Dinwiddie.  On  page  266  of  "The  Dinwiddie  Papers,"  note 
161,  Richard  Pearis  is  described  as  an  Indian  trader,  located 
on  Holstein  River,  who  acted  as  interpreter,  and  was  after- 
wards commissioned  a  captain  to  command  a  company  of 
Indians.  The  name  is  spelled  in  other  instances,  "Paris",  and 
has  respected  representatives  in  Augusta  County  today.  In 
a  letter  of  Governor  Dinwiddle's  to  Major  Andrew  Lewis, 
dated  February  16th,  1756,  he  says :  "I  am  glad  the  Cherokees 
are  in  so  high  spirits.  I  desire  that  you  show  proper  regard 
and  respect  to  the  High  Warrior  and  take  care  that  Mr. 
Pearis  behaves  well  and  keeps  sober." 

It  is  undoubtedly  true  that  Mrs.  Ingles  on  her  return  from 
captivity  in  November,  1755,  made  known  to  her  husband  and 
others,  the  position  of  the  Indian  towns  on  the  Ohio  and  of 
the  expressed  determination  of  the  savages  to  destroy  the 
white  settlements  along  the  New  River  valley.  This  led  to 
Captain  Ingles'  visit  to  the  Governor  at  Williamsburg  to 
forestall  the  Indian  plans  by  sending  a  force  of  troops  to  de- 
stroy them  before  they  could  strike  a  blow  at  the  settlements. 

Mrs.  Ingles  was  not  willing  to  remain  on  the  New  River 
nor    even    at   Vaux's    fort,    on    the    Roanoke,    nearby    where 

1654-1753  23 

Shawesville  now  stands,  but  insisted  that  her  husband  should 
carry  her  to  a  place  of  greater  safety  for  she  was  well  aware 
that  the  Indians  would  repeat  their  visits  to  the  settlements 
and  that  she  and  her  friends  would  again  be  exposed  to  dan- 
ger of  death  or  capture. 

The  fears  of  Mrs.  Ingles  were  well  grounded,  for  on  the 
very  next  day  after  the  departure  of  herself  and  family  from 
Vaux's  fort,  in  the  summer  of  1756,  it  was  attacked  by  the 
Indians,  and  the  inmates  were  destroyed  or  captured  and  car- 
ried away,  but  two  or  three  afterwards  escaped. 

The  incursions  made  by  the  Indians  into  the  frontier  set- 
tlements and  their  depredations  immediately  after  Braddock's 
defeat,  led  to  the  organization  of  the  Sandy  expedition,  under 
the  order  of  Governor  Dinwiddle,  and  suggested  and  planned 
by  Captain  William  Ingles,  who  accompanied  the  expedition. 
Colonel  Washington  sent  Major  Andrew  Lewis  from  Winches- 
ter to  take  charge  of  the  forces,  which  were  to  attack  the  In- 
dian towns  on  the  Ohio.  Major  Lewis'  forces  rendezvoused 
at  Fort  Prince  George  on  the  Roanoke,  near  where  Salem,  Vir- 
ginia, now  stands.  The  force  consisted  of  about  340  men. 
Among  the  oflBcers  were  Captains  Peter  Hogg,  John  Smith, 
William  Preston,  Archibald  Alexander,  Robert  Breckinridge, 

Obediah  Woodson,  John  Montgomery  and  Dunlap, 

together  with  a  company  of  friendly  Indians  under  Captain 
Richard  Pearis.  The  company  commanded  by  Captain  Hogg 
failed  to  attend  at  the  appointed  time,  and  Major  Lewis  after 
delaying  a  week  for  its  arrival,  marched  forward,  expecting 
to  be  overtaken  by  it. 

It  was  important  to  the  success  of  the  expedition  that  it 
should  not  be  discovered  by  the  Indians  until  it  was  too  late 
for  them  to  take  measures  to  thwart  it;  therefore,  instead 
of  taking  the  more  public  route  by  way  of  the  Great  Kanawha, 
Major  Lewis  selected  the  route  most  likely  to  keep  his  move- 
ments concealed  from  the  enemy.  While  it  would  seem  im- 
portant, yet  Major  Lewis  made  no  report  of  the  expedition; 
if  so  it  has  not  been  published.    Yet  we  are  not  without  fairly 

24  New  River  Settlements 

full  information  on  the  subject.  The  author  being  so  fortu- 
nate as  to  get  a  copy  in  part  of  Captain  William  Preston's 
journal,  kept  by  him  on  this  expedition,  which  will  be  here- 
inafter copied.  The  route  by  which  Lewis  with  his  men 
reached  the  mouth  of  the  Sandy,  has  been  stated  by  different 
writers,  no  two  agreeing,  and  none  strictly  correct.  See  With- 
ers. Bord.  Warf.  Hale's  Trans-Alleghany  Pioneers.  Peyton's 
His.  of  Augusta.  Lewis'  His.  of  W.  Va.  His.  Southwest  Va. 
by  Summers. 

We  will  let  Captain  William  Preston  tell  the  story  as  writ- 
ten down  by  him  at  the  time. 

"Monday,  ye  9th  day  of  February,  1756, 

"In  persuance  to  ye  orders  of  Major  Lewis,  dated  the  4th 
inst.,  I  marched  from  Fort  Prince  George,  with  my  two  Lieu- 
tenants, 2  Serjeants,  3  Corporals,  and  25  Privates.  We  had 
one  waggon  load  of  dry  beef,  the  wt.  2000  lbs.  We  traveled  15 
miles  the  first  day  and  lodged  at  the  home  of  Francis  Cyphers, 
on  Roanoke,  and  early  on  Tuesday  morning,  being  the  10th, 
we  proceeded  on  our  journey  as  far  as  Richd.  Hall's,  about  15 

"Wednesday,  the  11th,  marched  to  New  River;  informed  that 
Capt.  Hog's  compy  was  but  a  little  behind  us.  As  we  marched 
by  the  Cherikee  Camp  we  saluted  them  by  firing  off  guns, 
which  they  returned  in  seeming  great  joy,  and  afterwards 
honored  us  with  a  war  dance. 

"Thursday,  12th,  heard  a  sermon  preached  at  Capt.  Wood- 
ston's  Camp,  by  Rev.  Mr.  Brown. 

"Friday,  13th:  reviewed  by  Major  Lewis.  The  number  re- 
viewed was  about  340,  Indians  included,  being  the  Companies 
of  Capt.  C.  Hog,  Preston,  Smith,  Overton,  Woodston,  and 
Pearls,  with  the  Cherikee  Indians.  Rev.  Mr.  Craig  preached 
a  military  sermon,  text  in  Deuteronomy.  Two  Captain's  com- 
missions given  by  Major  Lewis  to  two  head  Cherokee  War- 
riors named  Yellow  Bird  and  Round  O. 

1654-1753  25 

"Sat.  14.  A  company  of  volunteers,  25  in  number,  under 
Capt.  Delap  (The  name  is  indistinct  in  the  Mas.)  joined  us. 

"Sunday  15th,  James  Burk  brot  word  that  Robert  Looney 
was  killed  nigh  Alex  Sawyers,  and  he  had  himself  one  horse 
shot  and  five  taken  away  by  the  Shawnee  Indians. 

"Monday  16,  40  Indians  and  60  white  men  under  command 
of  Capt.  Smith  and  Woodston  marched  from  fort  in  order  to 
range  the  woods  about  Reed  Creek;  they  are  to  march  to 
Burke's   Garden. 

"Tuesday  17,  Mr.  Paul  returned  from  the  horse  guard  (This 
guard  had  been  left  to  protect  the  crossing  of  New  River.) 

"Wednesday  18,  Capt.  Hog's  company  and  Major  Lewis 
march  in  afternoon. 

"Thursday  19,  Left  Fort  Frederick  at  10  o'clock:  27  loaded 
pack  horses,  got  to  William  Sawyer's:  camped  on  his  barn 

"Friday  20,  Switched  one  of  the  soldiers  for  swearing, 
which  very  much  incensed  the  Indian  chiefs  then  present.  Ad- 
vanced to  Alex  Sawyers,  met  the  Indians  who  went  out  with 
the  first  division,  and  Lieutenant  Ingles  who  informed  us  of 
the  burial  of  Robt.  Looney.    Some  of  our  Indians  deserted. 

Sat.  21,  Major  Lewis,  Capt.  Pearls  and  the  interpreter  went 
to  Col.  Buchanan's  place,  where  they  met  the  Indians  who 
had  deserted  us,  and  induced  them  to  return,  which  they  did. 

"Sunday  22,  Marched  to  John  McFarland's. 

"Monday  23,  Marched  over  the  mountain  to  Bear  Garden, 
on  North  Fork  of  Holston's  river.    Lost  sundry  horses. 

"Tuesday  24,  Crossed  two  mountains  and  arrived  at  Burke's 
Garden.  Had  plenty  of  potatoes  which  the  soldiers  gathered 
in  the  deserted  plantations. 

"Wednesday  25,  Remained  in  Camp. 

"Burke's  Garden  is  a  tract  of  land  of  5000  or  6000  acres,  as 
rich  and  fertile  as  any  I  ever  saw,  as  well  watered  with  many 
beautiful  streams,  and  is  surrounded  with  mountains  almost 

26  New  River  Settlements 

''Thursday  26,  Marched  early,  crossed  three  large  mount- 
ains, arrived  at  head  of  Clinch.    Our  hunters  found  no  game. 

"Friday  27,  Lay  by  on  account  of  rain.  Hunters  killed  three 
or  four  bears. 

"Saturday  28,  passed  several  branches  of  Clinch  and  at 
length  got  to  head  of  Sandy  Creek,  where  we  met  with  great 
trouble  and  fatigue,  occasioned  by  heavy  rain,  and  driving  our 
baggage  horses  down  said  creek,  which  we  crossed  20  times 
that  evening.    Killed  three  buffalos  and  some  deer. 

"Sunday  29,  In  15  miles  passed  the  creek  66  times.  Sundry 
horses  were  left,  not  being  able  to  carry  loads  any  further. 
Encamped  at  a  cane  swamp.  This  creek  has  been  much  fre- 
quented by  Indians  both  traveling  and  hunting  on  it,  and 
from  many  late  signs  I  am  apprehensive  that  Starnicker — 
the  prisoners  taken  with  him  were  carried  this  way. 

"Monday  1st,  of  March   (1756) 

"Marched  at  9  o'k.  In  4  miles  left  the  Creek  to  Eastward, 
passed  a  gap  in  high  ridge,  and  came  upon  a  branch,  where 
we  camped  in  a  large  bend  in  a  prominent  place.  Sent  Abrim 
Bledsher  to  hunt. 

"Tuesday  2,  Discovered  recent  signs  of  enemy  Indians  hunt- 
ing camp :  our  Cherikees  ranged  the  woods.  Moved  down  the 
branch  and  came  to  the  main  creek  where  we  camped.  Put 
on  half  rations.  Came  into  the  Cole  (Coal)  land:  crossed 
the  river  8  times. 

"Wednesday  3.  Marched  only  9  or  10  miles  being  much  re- 
tarded by  the  river  and  mountains  which  closed  in  on  both 
sides,  which  made  our  marching  very  difficult,  and  more  so 
as  each  man  had  but  half  pound  of  flour  and  no  meat  but  what 
we  could  kill  and  that  was  verv  scarce. 

"Thursday  4,  Lost  many  horses  that  wandered  off  and 
could  not  be  found.  Marched  6  miles.  Hunters  had  no  suc- 
cess, and  nothing  but  hunger  and  fatigue  appears  to  us. 

"Friday  5,  With  great  difficulty  marched  15  miles:  the  river 
being  very  deep  and  often  to  cross,  nearly  killed  the  men,  as 

1654-1753  27 

they  were  in  utmost  extremity  for  want  of  provisions.     My 
fourth  horse  expired. 

"Saturday  6,  As  we  encamped  nigh  the  forks  of  the  river, 
we  only  crossed  the  S.  E.  fork  and  encamped.  The  Cherikees 
made  bark  canoes  to  carry  themselves  down  the  river.  Major 
Lewis  had  a  large  canoe  made  to  carry  the  amunition  and 
small  remnant  of  flour.  The  men  murmured  much  for  want 
of  provisions  and  numbers  threatened  to  return  home. 

"Sunday  7,  Marched  to  a  place  6  miles  below  the  forks  of 
the  river.  Mountains  very  high  and  no  appearance  of  level 
country,  which  greatly  discouraged  the  men.  The  men  were 
faint  and  weak  with  hunger  and  could  not  travel  the  mount- 
ains and  wade  the  river  as  formerly,  there  was  no  game  in  the 
mountains,  nor  appearance  of  level  country,  and  their  half 
pound  of  flour  would  not  support  them,  and  that  would  soon 
be  gone,  and  they  intended  to  leave  next  morning  and  go  home. 
I  proposed  to  kill  the  horses  to  eat,  which  they  refused.  They 
said  that  might  do  to  support  them  if  they  were  on  their  way 
home,  but  it  was  not  a  diet  proper  to  sustain  men  on  a  long 
march  against  the  enemy.  They  finally  agreed  to  make  one 
more  trial  down  the  river. 

"Monday  8,  Proceeded  down  the  river  about  3  miles,  where 
the  mountains  closed  so  nigh  the  water  that  we  could  not 
pass:  went  up  a  branch,  crossed  a  very  high  mountain,  and 
down  another  branch  to  the  river,  where  we  met  a  party  of 
men  who  had  been  at  the  river  and  could  not  get  down  any 
further.  Crossed  another  mountain  to  the  head  of  another 
branch  which  we  followed  several  miles  to  the  river  and 
camped.  Some  of  the  volunteers  killed  two  elk,  which  they 
divided  with  us. 

"Tuesday  9,  The  volunteers  killed  two  buflfalos  and  an  elk, 
which  helped  us  some,  but  the  men  are  very  faint  and  con- 
tinue to  murmur.  Did  not  move  this  day  waiting  for  Major 
Lewis,  and  the  rest  of  the  men  who  were  left  at  the  forks  of 
the  river,  supposed  15  miles. 

28  New  River  Settlements 

"Wednesday  10,  Sent  a  messenger  with  a  letter  to  Major 
Lewis  to  come  at  once,  as  the  men  were  determined  to  desert 
and  go  home. 

''Thursday  11th,  8  of  Capt  Smith's  men  went  off  and  Bled- 
sher  and  . 

"Friday  12,  8  or  10  of  my  Company  being  ready  to  leave, 
I  was  obliged  to  disarm  them  and  take  their  blankets  from 
them  by  force.  Capt.  Woodson  arrived,  with  some  of  his 
company,  and  informed  us  that  his  canoe  overset,  and  lost 
his  tents  and  every  thing  of  value.  Major  Lewis'  canoe  was 
sunk  in  the  river  and  he  and  Capt.  Overton  and  Lieut.  Gun 
had  to  swim  for  their  lives:  they  lost  every  thing  of  value, 
particularly  5  or  6  guns. 

"Major  Lewis,  Lieut.  McNeal  and  Mr.  Chen  arrived,  and 
informed  us  of  their  shipwreck.  He  had  seen  Bledsher  and 
9  other  men  going  off. 

"Saturday  13th,  Major  Lewis  ordered  each  Capt.  to  call 
his  company  together  immediately,  which  was  done.  He  made 
a  speech  to  them,  but  they  were  obstinate. 

"Major  Lewis  stepped  off  some  yrads,  and  desired  all  that 
were  willing  to  share  his  fate,  to  go  with  him.  All  the  officers, 
and  some  privates,  not  above  20  or  30,  joined  him.  Then  Mont- 
gomery's volunteers  marched  off,  and  were  immediately  fol- 
lowed by  my  company  and  Smith's:  4  private  men  and  my 
lieutenants  stayed  with  me. 

"Major  Lewis  spoke  to  Old  Autocity,  who  was  much  griev- 
ed to  see  the  men  desert,  who  said  that  he  was  willing  to  pro- 
ceed, but  some  of  his  warriors  and  young  men  were  yet  be- 
hind, and  he  was  doubtful  about  them.  Mr.  Dunlap's  volun- 
teers went  off  in  the  afternoon. 

"An  account  of  miles  marched  each  day  on  our  journey  to 
the  Shawnees'  towns. 

1654-1753  29 


"From  F.  P.  George  to  Cyphers'  15 

2nd  day  to  R.  Hall's    15 

3rd  day  to  F.  A.  Frederick  15 

19th  Feb.  to  Wm.  Sawyers 20 

20th  Feb.  to  McCaul's 13 

Sunday  22,  to  McFarland's  7 

Monday  23  to  Bear  Garden 10 

Tuesday  24  to  Burke's  Garden   9 

Thursday  26,  to  head  of  Clinch 10 

Saturday  28,  to  head  of  Sandy  Creek 10 

Sunday  29,  down  Sandy  Creek  12 

Monday  1st,  March  Sandy  Creek  6 

Tuesday  2,  Sandy  Creek 3 

Wednesday  3rd,  Sandy  Creek 10 

Friday  5,  Sandy  Creek   15 

Saturday  6,  Sandy  Creek 2 

Sunday  7,  Sandy  Creek  7 

Monday  8,  (Here  the  journal  ends  M,)   7 

It  will  appear  by  a  close  examination  of  this  journal  by  one 
fully  acquainted  with  the  territory  from  the  head  waters  of 
the  Clinch  to  the  mouth  of  the  Dry  Fork  of  the  Tug  Fork  of 
Sandy,  where  the  Station  of  laeger  on  the  line  of  the  Norfolk 
and  Western  Railway  now  stands,  over  which  territory  the 
expedition  passed,  that  it  proceeded  by  way  of  one  of  the 
North  branches  of  the  Clinch  through  the  farm  of  the  late 
W.  G.  Mustard  in  Tazewell  County,  thence  through  Maxwell's 
Gap  on  to  the  waters  of  Horse  Pen  Creek,  thence  down  the 
same  to  Jacob's  Fork,  and  down  the  same  to  the  Low  gap  or 
Cane  Brake  in  the  ridge  dividing  the  waters  of  Jacob's  Fork 
from  Dry  Fork,  and  a  little  South  and  West  of  the  residence 
of  Rev.  R.  B.  Godbey,  on  Jacob's  Fork,  thence  down  the  Dry 
Fork  to  its  junction  with  the  Tug  or  main  fork. 

Captain  Hogg  and  his  company  finally  overtook  Major  Lew- 
is.   At  the  same  time  a  messenger  arrived  directing  the  return 

30  New  River  Settlements 

of  the  expedition.  It  however  proceeded  to  the  mouth  of  the 
Sandy,  and  some  of  the  officers  urged  the  crossing  of  the  Ohio 
river,  but  it  was  finally  decided  to  obey  the  summons  to  re- 
turn. The  weather  was  extremely  cold,  snow  having  fallen 
the  march  was  a  difficult  one,  and  the  men  stopping  at  Burn- 
ing Spring  (Warfield)  took  strips  of  the  hides  of  the  buffalos 
and  broiled  them  in  the  burning  gas.  They  cut  them  into 
strips  or  thugs,  hence  the  name  of  Tug  River.  On  leaving  the 
spring  they  scattered  through  the  mountains  and  many  of 
them  perished,  either  frozen  to  death,  starved  or  killed  by  the 
Indians.  They  left  however,  some  marks  by  the  way,  cutting 
their  names  on  trees  on  the  route  pursued  by  them,  notably 
at  the  forks  of  Big  Coal  and  Clear  Fork  of  that  River,  but 
these  trees  have  been  destroyed  in  recent  years. 

As  already  stated,  if  Major  Lewis  ever  made  any  written 
report  of  this  expedition,  the  author  has  been  unable  to  find 
it  or  any  trace  of  it,  and  therefore  we  are  without  information 
as  to  tlie  number  of  men  lost  on  the  expedition. 

The  Indians  had  discovered  that  Lewis  and  his  men  were 
on  the  Sandy  or  about  the  mouth  of  it,  and  some  of  them  fol- 
lowed the  whites  for  a  distance  on  their  way  homeward. 

A  second  Sandy  expedition  seems  to  have  been  contemplat- 
ed, but  for  some  reason  abandoned. 

Reference  has  already  been  made  to  that  splendid  body  of 
land  situate  in  the  southeastern  part  of  the  present  County 
of  Tazewell,  about  fourteen  miles  from  the  Court  House  there- 
of and  known  as  Burke's  Garden.  Colonel  William  Preston, 
as  we  have  seen  from  his  journal,  gives  a  short  description  of 
this  body  of  land.  It  appears  that  Lewis  and  his  men  saw 
this  Garden  within  less  than  three  years  after  Burke  had  dis- 
covered it.  Whether  between  1753  and  1756  Ingles  and  Pat- 
ton  were  therein  surveying  lands  for  the  Loyal  Company  does 
not  certainly  appear. 

Burke  moved  with  his  family  into  the  Garden  in  1754,  (1) 

(1)  A  white  thorn  bush,  sprout  from  an  older  bush,  at  a  spring, 
near  to  the  residence  of  Mr.  Rufus  Thompson,  in  Burl^e's  Garden,  is 
pointed  out  as  the  spot  where  Burke  spent  his  first  night  in  the  Garden. 

1654-1753  31 

cleared  up  some  land,  and  planted  a  crop,  including  potatoes, 
and  in  the  fall  of  1755  was  driven  out  on  account  of  fear  of 
Indians,  and  left  his  crop  of  potatoes  in  the  ground  which 
Lewis'  men  found  the  next  spring  and  appropriated.  Burke 
had  killed  a  large  number  of  deer,  elk  and  bear,  and  had  tan- 
ned a  number  of  the  hides,  which  he  took  with  him  when  he 
left  in  the  fall  of  1755.  On  his  way  out  with  his  family  he 
camped  one  night  in  an  old  hunter's  cabin  near  what  is  now 
Sharon  Springs  in  the  now  County  of  Bland,  Virginia.  The 
Indians  followed  him,  and  on  their  way  killed  two  hunters 
in  their  camp.  On  approaching  Burke's  cabin  and  seeing  sev- 
eral horses,  and  the  tanned  hides  rolled  up  in  the  cabin,  they 
came  to  the  conclusion  that  there  were  too  many  people  for 
them  to  attack,  and  contented  themselves  with  the  cutting  of 
the  throat  of  one  of  Burke's  horses.  One  of  the  evidences 
adduced  that  Burke  had  removed  with  his  family  to  this  Gar- 
den, and  lived  there  in  1755,  is,  that  no  mention  of  him  or  of 
his  family  is  made  in  the  history  of  the  destruction  of  the 
Drapers  Maedows  settlers  by  the  Indians  on  the  8th  day  of 
July,  1755,  while  all  the  other  settlers  are  acconuted  for. 
Burke  was  not  killed  in  the  Garden.  He  was  living  and  seen 
by  Captain  Preston  and  his  men  on  the  15th  day  of  February, 
1756,  when  he  reported  to  Major  Lewis  the  killing  by  the 
Indians  of  a  man  by  the  name  of  Robert  Looney  near  Alexan- 
der Sawyer's.  Burke  with  his  family  never  returned  to  the 
Garden  to  live,  first,  because  the  Loyal  Company  claimed  the 
land  and  had  Ingles  and  Patton  to  survey  it.  Second,  Burke 
got  not  one  foot  of  it,  and,  third;  he  removed  South  where  he 
died.  Many  of  his  descendants,  among  them  the  Snidows,  of 
Giles  County,  still  reside  in  the  New  River  Valley,  and  they 
seem  never  to  have  heard  of  the  story  that  Burke  was  killed 
in  the  Garden.  Again  Morris  GrifiBth,  the  step  son  of  Burke, 
who  is  reputed  to  have  first  seen  the  Garden,  was  captured 
at  Vaux's  Fort  in  the  Summer  of  1756,  but  escaped. 

The  failure  of  the  Sandy  expedition  gave  encouragement  to 
the  Indians  and  they  prepared  to  assault  more  fiercely  the 

32  New  Eivbr  Settlements 

border  white  settlements  during  the  Spring,  Summer  and  Fall 
months  of  1756. 

Vaux  Fort  situated  on  the  Roanoke  near  where  Shawesville 
Station  on  the  line  of  the  Norfolk  and  Western  Railway  Com- 
pany now  stands,  was  built  prior  to  1756,  and  destroyed  in 
the  early  Summer  of  that  year. 

On  September  8th,  1756,  Governor  Dinwiddle,  (Dinwiddie 
Papers)  writes  to  Captain  Hogg  as  follows:  "I  received  yours 
of  the  25th  ult,  and  observe  you  have  made  a  beginning  to 
build  a  fort  near  Vass's  plantation,  which  is  well.  I  am  of 
the  opinion  that  three  forts  are  necessary,  as  the  one  you  are 
constructing  may  be  sufficient,  as  I  hear  Col.  Washington  is 
with  you,  counsel  with  him  thereon."  This  letter  shows  that 
Colonel  George  Washington  was  with  Captain  Hogg  on  the 
Roanoke  at  Vass's  Fort  when  the  above  letter  was  written. 

From  the  beginning  of  the  French  and  Indian  war  in  1753 
up  to  the  close  of  the  war  in  the  year  1763,  the  border  country 
from  the  lakes  to  the  mountains  of  North  Carolina  was  scourg- 
ed by  Indian  forays  and  incursions,  and  the  few  inhabitants 
were  kept  in  almost  constant  fear. 

Preston's  Journal  shows  that  several  settlements  had  been 
made  along  Peak,  Reed  and  other  Creeks  West  of  New  River 
prior  to  1756.  Among  the  parties  he  names  are  William  Saw- 
yers, Alexander  Sawyers,  and  John  McFarland,  and  Dr.  Walk- 
er mentions  Samuel  Stalnaker  as  on  the  Holston  on  the  24th 
of  March,  1750,  when  he  and  Mr.  Powell  helped  him  to  raise 
a  house. 

Hale  in  his  Trans  Alleghany  Pioneers  states  that  seven  fam- 
ilies were  settled  West  of  New  River  in  1754,  but  gives  the 
names  of  but  two.  Reed  and  McCorkle. 

The  New  River  lead  mines  were  discovered  by  Colonel  Chis- 
well  in  1757. 

About  the  year  of  1758  Joseph  Howe,  and  a  little  later 
James  Hoge  settled  in  the  Back  Creek  Valley. 

In  1760  an  Indian  marauding  party  penetrated  the  New 
River  settlements,  and  passing  over  into  what  is  now  Bedford 

1654-1753  33 

County,  committed  murders  and  other  depredations  and  on 
its  return,  reaching  the  vicinity  of  Ingles'  Ferry,  was  attacked 
by  Captain  William  Ingles,  Captain  Henry  Harman,  (Har- 
man  Ms.)  and  others.  One  white  man  and  six  or  seven  In- 
dians were  killed,  and  this  was  the  last  Indian  foray  that  ever 
succeeded  in  penetrating  so  far  into  the  interior.  Captain 
Henry  Harman  was  a  German,  born  in  the  Isle  of  Man,  and 
first  settled  in  Forsythe  County,  North  Carolina,  where  he 
married  Miss  Nancy  Wilburn,  and  removed  to  the  New  River 
Valley  about  1758,  and  settled  first  on  Buchanan's  Bottom 
(the  Major  James  R.  Kent  farm,  below  the  present  town  of 
Radford,  Virginia)  ;  and  from  thence  removed  to  Walker's 
Creek  in  what  is  now  Bland  County,  and  shortly  thereafter 
to  the  Hollybrook  farm  on  Kimberling  in  the  same  County. 

This  name  Harman  being  German,  was  originally  Herman, 
and  the  family  of  this  name  that  settled  in  the  New  River 
Valley,  except  Adam  Harman,  and  in  Tazewell  County,  Vir- 
ginia, were  all  from  the  State  of  North  Carolina.  Adam  Har- 
man and  his  family  and  all  by  that  name  that  settled  on  the 
Jackson  River  and  in  Western  Virginia  came  from  the  Valley 
of  Virginia. 

In  the  Fall  of  the  year  1763,  about  fifty  Indian  warriors 
ascended  the  Great  Sandy,  and  passed  over  the  present  terri- 
tory of  Mercer  County  on  to  New  River,  where  they  separated, 
forming  two  parties,  one  going  towards  the  Jackson  River, 
and  the  other  towards  the  Roanoke  and  Catawba  settlements. 

Pitman,  Pack  and  Swope,  trappers  on  New  River,  discovered 
the  trail  of  these  Indians  and  the  route  they  had  taken,  sus- 
pecting that  they  were  preparing  to  attack  the  settlements 
just  mentioned,  they  set  out.  Pitman  for  Jackson's  River  and 
Pack  and  Swope  for  Roanoke,  but  the  Indians  reached  both 
places  ahead  of  them.  After  killing  some  people  in  the  Jack- 
son's River  settlement  and  taking  some  prisoners,  the  Indians 
began  a  hasty  retreat  towards  the  Ohio,  pursued  by  Captain 
Audley  Paul  with  a  company  of  twenty  men  from  Fort  Din- 
widdle, and  who  followed  the  Indians  up  Dunlap's  Creek  over 
on  to  Indian  Creek  and  New  River,  to  the  mouth  of  Piney 

34  New  River  Settlements 

Creek  without  discovering  them,  and  Captain  Paul  started 
on  his  return. 

The  party  that  had  crossed  over  on  to  the  Roanoke  and 
Catawba  committed  some  depredations  and  murders,  and  cap- 
tured three  prisoners,  a  Mrs.  Katherine  Gun,  a  man  by  the 
name  of  Jacob  Kimberline  (who  was  taken  from  a  creek  now 
called  Kimberling,  a  branch  of  Walker's  Creek)  and  another 
whose  name  is  not  given.  Tliis  party  was  being  pursued  by 
Captain  William  Ingles,  Captain  Henry  Harman  and  their 
men.  On  the  night  of  the  12th  of  October,  the  Indians  pur- 
sued by  Ingles  and  Harman  were  discovered  by  Captain  Paul 
and  his  men  about  midnight,  encamped  on  the  North  bank  of 
the  New  River  opposite  an  island  at  the  mouth  of  Turkey 
Creek  (now  Indian  Creek)  in  Summers  County.  Paul's  men 
fired  on  them,  killed  three  and  wounded  several  others,  one  of 
whom  threw  himself  into  the  river  to  preserve  his  scalp,  the 
rest  of  the  party  fled  hurriedly  down  the  river. 

The  Snidows  came  in  1766  and  settled  in  the  neighborhood 
of  Philip  Lybrook,  near  the  mouth  of  Sinking  Creek;  however 
settlements  had  been  made  in  the  Greenbrier  section  of  coun- 
try by  Marlin  and  Sewell  in  1750,  and  some  families  came  in 
1762,  but  they  were  massacred  by  Indians  in  1763,  and  reset- 
tlements did  not  begin  in  that  section  until  the  year  of  1769. 

The  Snidow  family  mentioned  above,  were  Germans,  and 
came  from  Pennsylvania.  John,  the  father,  and  head  of  the 
family,  had  in  1765  visited  the  New  River  section,  and  Philip 
Lybrook,  whom  it  is  supposed  had  been  his  neighbor  in  Penn- 
sylvania. He  returned  for  his  family  and  started  with  them 
for  his  irew  home  in  1766,  but  on  the  road  was  taken  suddenly 
and  violently  ill,  from  which  illness  he  died.  His  widow, 
Elizabeth,  with  her  children,  made  her  way  to  the  New  River 
home  which  had  been  selected  and  fixed  upon  by  her  husband. 
This  family  later  suffered  from  an  Indian  attack  in  which  a 
part  of  its  members  were  killed  and  a  part  captured.  This 
family  became  one  of  the  largest  and  most  influential  of  the 
settlers  of  the  New  River  Valley. 

1654-1753  35 

Settlements  began  on  the  head  waters  of  the  Clinch  in  1766- 
1767,  but  as  there  will  be  a  chapter  in  this  work  devoted  ex- 
clusively to  the  history  of  Tazewell  County,  in  which  these 
settlements  were  made,  a  statement  in  full  in  regard  thereto 
is  reserved  to  be  stated  in  said  chapter. 




Formation  Botetourt  County  from  Augusta  in  1769 — Cooks, 
Keeneys  and  others  on  Indian  Creek  and  the  Greenbrier — 
Building  Forts — Cooks  on  Indian  Creek  and  Keeneys  at 
Keeney's    Knobs — Fort    at    Lewisburg    built — John    and 
Richard  Chapman  and  McKensey  settle  at  mouth  of  Walk- 
er's Creek — Snidows,  Lybrooks  and  Chapmans  build  fort 
at  the  Horse  Shoe — Absalom  Looney  from  Looney's  Creek 
explores  upper  Bluestone  waters — Other  settlers  on  the 
head  of  Clinch — John  McNeil  from  the  Virginia  Valley 
locates  at  Little  Levels — Accompanies  General  Lewis  to 
the  battle  of  Point  Pleasant — Captain  James  Moore,  Sam- 
uel Ferguson,  the  Peerys  and  others  in  the  battle  of  the 
Alamance  May  16th,  1771— In  1772  Evan  Shelby  at  King's 
Meadows,  and  John  Sevier  from  the  Valley,  on  the  Noli- 
chucky  —  Refugees    from    the    Alamance,    from    Fairfax 
County,  Virginia,  on  the  Watauga — Over  mountain  men 
— Back  water  men — Peace  men — Fincastle  County  creat- 
ed and  courts  held  at  Lead  Mines— Daniel  Boone,  family 
and  party  from  the  Yadkin— Squire  Boone  a  Baptist  min- 
ister, with  the  party— On  their  way  to  Kentucky  are  at- 
tacked by  Indians  and  party  scattered— Daniel  and  Squire 
winter  near  Castleswoods— Dunmore's  War  begins  in  the 
Spring  of  1774 — Daniel  Boone  in  command  of  the  fron- 
tier— Captain  William  Russell's  company  from  the  Clinch 
— Reece  and   Moses   Bowen   with   Russell — Evan   Shelby, 
his  son  Isaac  and  John  Sevier  also  lead  a  company — Se- 
vier from  North  Carolina  but  supposes  he  lives  in  Vir- 
ginia— Governor  Dunmore  raises  an  army  and  commands 
northern  division — General   Andrew  Lewis  the  southern 
division — March  to  the  mouth  of  the  Kanawha  and  battle 
of  Point  Pleasant— August  7th,  1774,  Indians  attack  the 
Lvbrooks  and  Snidows  at  Sinking  Creek — Harman's  fort 
—Shannons  settle  at  Poplar  Hill,  1774— Grant  of  Clover 
Bottom  to  Mitchell  Clay. 

36  New  River  Settlements 

Up  to  and  including  the  year  of  1769  the  territory  covering 
the  New  River  Valley  and  the  section  of  the  country  West 
thereof,  was  within  the  County  of  Augusta,  but  in  November 
of  that  year  a  county  called  Botetourt  was  created,  the  act  to 
be  in  effect  January  31st,  1769. 

The  following  are  the  boundary  lines  of  the  county  of  Bote- 
tourt as  given  in  the  Act:  "That  from  and  after  the  31st  day 
of  January  next  ensuing,  the  said  parish  and  county  of  Au- 
gusta be  divided  into  two  counties  and  parishes  by  a  line  be- 
ginning at  the  Blue  Ridge,  running  north  55  deg.  West  to  the 
confluence  of  Mary's  Creek  (or  of  South  River)  with  the 
North  branch  of  the  James  River;  thence,  up  the  same  to  the 
South  of  Kerr's  Creek  (Carr's  Creek)  thence,  up  said  creek 
to  the  mountain;  thence,  North  45  deg.  West  as  far  as  the 
courts  of  the  two  counties  shall  extend  it." 

By  reference  to  the  map  of  Virginia  it  will  be  seen  that  a 
line  45  deg.  West  extended  from  the  mountain  at  the  head 
of  Kerr's  Creek  will  reach  the  Ohio  river  at  some  point  not 
far  from  the  present  city  of  Wheeling,  and  will  cover  largely 
that  vast  territory  which  had  formerly  belonged  to  Augusta 

Between  the  years  1769  and  1774,  settlements  had  been  made 
by  the  Cooks  from  the  Virginia  Valley  on  Indian  Creek  (one 
of  their  number,  John,  being  killed  by  the  Indians),  the 
Woods  on  Rich  Creek,  the  Grahams  on  the  Greenbrier,  and 
others  near  Keeney's  Knobs.  Cook's  Fort  was  on  Indian  Creek 
about  tliree  miles  from  New  River,  Wood's  fort  on  Rich  Creek 
on  a  farm  recently  owned  by  the  family  of  John  Karnes,  and 
about  4  miles  East  of  the  present  village  of  Peterstown  in  the 
County  of  Monroe.  The  Keeneys  built  Keeney's  fort  near 
Keeney's  Knobs.  The  Snidows,  Lybrooks,  Chapmans  and  Mc- 
Kensey  built  Snidow's  fort  at  the  upper  end  of  the  Horseshoe 
farm  on  New  River,  in  what  is  now  Giles  County.  The  Hat- 
fields  built  Hatfield's  fort  on  Big  Stony  Creek  in  the  now 
county  of  Giles  on  the  farm  belonging  to  the  late  David  J.  L. 

1654-1753  37 

Snidow.  The  fort  at  Lewisburg  was  built  in  1770.  The  Bar- 
gers  built  Barger's  fort  on  Tom's  Creek  in  the  now  County  of 
Montgomery.  Colonel  Andrew  Donnally  built  Donnally's  fort. 
Colonel  John  Stuart  built  Fort  Spring,  and  Captain  Jarrett 
the  Wolf  Creek  fort,  the  three  last  named  on  the  Greenbrier 

In  1771  came  John  Chapman,  Richard  his  brother,  and  their 
brother-in-law  Moredock  O.  McKensey  with  their  families  from 
Culpepper  County,  Virginia,  and  located  at  the  mouth  of 
Walker's  Creek  on  the  New  River.  The  Chapmans  and  Mc- 
Kensey, the  latter  a  Scotsman,  who  had  married  Jemima,  the 
only  sister  of  the  Chapmans,  left  their  Culpepper  home  in 
November,  1768,  crossed  the  Blue  Ridge  into  the  Valley  of 
Virginia,  and  remained  for  more  than  two  years  on  the  Shen- 
andoah (then  called  the  Sherando)  River,  and  at  some  time 
in  the  year  of  1771  fell  in  with  the  emigrant  bands  making 
their  way  further  West,  and  even  across  the  Alleghanies.  John 
Chapman  erected  his  cabin  on  the  Northwest  side  of  Walker's 
Creek  at  the  base  of  the  hill  and  near  the  bank  of  the  creek. 
Richard  Chapman  and  McKensey  built  on  the  river  bottom 
above  the  mouth  of  the  creek. 

An  adventurer  by  the  name  of  Absalom  Looney  in  1771  left 
his  home  on  Looney's  Creek,  now  in  the  Rockbridge  country, 
and  came  over  tlie  Alleghanies  and  explored  the  upper  Blue- 
stone  country,  particularly  a  beautiful  valley  now  in  Taze- 
well County,  Virginia,  and  which  in  part  bears  the  name  of 
its  discoverer,  being  called  "Abb's  Valley."  Looney  remained 
in  this  valley  and  adjacent  territory  for  two  or  three  years, 
and  had  for  his  refuge  and  hiding  place  from  the  savages  and 
wild  beasts  a  cave  or  rather  an  opening  in  the  limestone 
rocks,  for  it  was  not  deep  under  ground.  This  hiding  place 
was  pointed  out  to  the  author  by  William  T.  Moore,  Esq., 
whose  grandfather  settled  nearby  in  1777.  The  cave  referred 
to  is  a  few  yards  south  of  the  spot  whereon  now  stands 
Moore's  Memorial  Methodist  Church.  On  Looney's  return  to 
his  home  he  gave  such  glowing  description  of  this  valley  that 

38  New  River  Settlements 

one  of  his  neiglibors,  Captain  James  Moore,  was  induced  to 
make  a  journey  to  see  it.  He  came  in  1776  or  1777  alone,  from 
his  home  with  no  companians  nor  weapons,  save  his  rilie  gun, 
tomahawk  and  butcher  knife,  the  hunter's  usual  weapons  of 
offense  and  defense.  Looney  had  furnished  him  such  a  de- 
scription of  the  valley  as  to  enable  him  to  find  the  way  with- 
out difficulty.  Further  description  of  Captain  Moore's  jour- 
ney and  settlement  in  this  valley,  and  the  destruction  of  his 
family  by  Indians  will  be  related  in  the  Chapter  on  the  his- 
tory of  Tazewell  County. 

In  1773  John  McNeil  from  the  lower  Virginia  valley,  set- 
tled in  the  Little  Levels  on  the  waters  of  the  Greenbrier,  now 
in  Pocahontas  County,  West  Virginia.  McNeil  accompanied 
General  Lewis'  army  to  the  battle  of  Point  Pleasant,  and 
was  a  participant  therein. 

John  Sevier  of  French  extraction,  who  established  and  gave 
name  to  the  town  of  New  Market  in  the  Valley  of  Virginia, 
and  kept  a  store  in  that  town,  having  made  the  acquaintance 
of  Evan  Shelby  of  King's  Meadov/s,  now  Bristol,  Tennessee- 
Virginia,  made  in  1772  a  visit  to  Shelby,  and  went  with  him 
to  the  waters  of  the  Watauga,  finding  there  among  the  settlers 
persons  who  had  fought  in  the  battle  of  the  Alamance,  and 
some  from  the  County  of  Fairfax,  Virginia.  These  people 
later,  together  with  settlers  on  the  Holstein,  were  called  by 
some.  Backwater  men.  Over  mountain  men,  and  Peace  men, 
as  some  of  them  at  least  opposed  the  war  with  Great  Brit- 
ain. But  when  the  tug  of  war  did  come,  they  were  almost 
without  exception  found  on  the  American  side,  and  many 
of  them  served  in  the  patriot  army.  Sevier  made  up  his  mind 
to  locate  in  this  section,  and  accordingly  did,  fixing  his  res- 
idence upon  the  Nolichuckey,  and  he  was  afterwards  known 
as,  and  called  "Nolichuckey  Jack."  He  was  a  brave,  cour- 
ageous and  intelligent  man,  and  figured  extensively  in  the  bor- 
der wars,  and  in  the  formation  of  the  State  of  Franklin,  of 
which  he  was  the  Governor  four  years;  and  was  afterwards 
Governor  of  the  State  of  Tennessee  for  a  number  of  years. 

1654-1753  39 

Owing  to  the  remote  settlements  west  of  the  Alleghanies 
and  along  the  New  River  waters  and  farther  to  the  west, 
and  the  difficulties  the  inhabitants  had  of  reaching  the  courts 
held  at  Fincastle  in  Botetourt  County,  the  inhabitants  peti- 
tioned the  Legislature  of  Virginia  for  the  formation  of  a 
new  county,  the  prayer  of  which  petition  was  granted  in 
February,  1772.  The  county  of  Fincastle  was  created  out 
of  Botetourt;  with  the  following  boundary  lines  as  given  in 
the  act  creating  same. 

^'That  from  and  after  the  first  day  of  December  next,  the 
said  county  of  Botetourt  shall  be  divided  into  two  distinct 
Counties,  that  is  to  say  all  that  part  of  said  county  within 
a  line  to  run  up  the  east  side  of  New  River  to  the  south  of 
Culbertson's  Creek,  thence,  a  direct  line  to  the  Catawba  road, 
where  it  crosses  the  dividing  ridge  between  the  north  of  the 
Roanoke  and  the  waters  of  New  River;  thence,  with  the  top 
of  the  ridge  to  the  Bent,  where  it  turns  eastwardly;  thence, 
a  south  course  to  the  top  of  Blue  Ridge  mountains,  shall  be 
established  as  one  distinct  county  and  called  and  known  by 
the  name  of  Fincastle;  and  that  the  other  part  thereof,  which 
lies  to  the  east  and  north  east  of  the  said  line,  shall  be  one 
distinct  county  and  retain  the  name  of  Botetourt. 

Daniel  Boone  from  the  Yadkin  River,  North  Carolina,  vis- 
ited the  Holstein  settlements  in  1760  and  again  in  1773,  and 
engaged  in  hunting  along  the  waters  of  the  Tennessee,  per- 
forming his  usual  feat  of  ''Cilling  a  bar,"  and  proclaiming 
the  fact  by  inscribing  it  on  a  beech  tree.  Several  trees  are 
said  to  have  been  found  with  similar  inscriptions.  A  brief 
sketch  of  the  life  of  Boone  is  given  by  Dr.  John  P.  Hale,  in 
the  Trans -Alleghany  Pioneers.  It  may  be  well  to  add,  how- 
ever, that  in  the  fall  of  1773  the  Boones,  with  five  other  families 
set  out  from  their  home  on  the  Yadkin  to  go  to  Kentucky, 
and  were  joined  in  Powell's  Valley  by  William  Bryan,  their 
brother-in-law,  and  forty  other  people.  That  while  this  body 
of  emigrants  was  leisurely  traveling  through  the  Valley,  a 
small  company  under  James  Boone,  Daniel's  eldest  son,  left 

40  New  Eiver  Settlements 

the  main  body  and  went  to  the  home  of  William  Russell  to 
procure  provisions,  and  on  the  9tli  of  October  James  Boone 
and  his  company,  among  the  number  being  Russell's  son,  Hen- 
ry, and  two  slaves,  encamped  a  few  miles  in  the  rear  of  the 
main  body.  At  this  point  they  were  the  next  day  waylaid  by 
a  small  party  of  Shawnee  and  Cherokee  Indians,  who  were 
supposed  to  be  at  peace  with  the  white  settlers.  On  the 
morning  of  the  10th  James  Boone  and  his  entire  company 
were  captured,  and  after  cruel  torture  were  slaughtered.  Af- 
ter this  occurrence  Daniel  Boone's  company  broke  up  and  re- 
turned to  the  settlements,  and  Daniel  and  his  family  returned 
to  the  home  of  William  Russell  near  Castleswoods  on  Clinch 
river,  and  spent  the  winter  of  1773-1774  in  that  neighborhood. 
"Summers'  His.  South  West  Va."  In  addition  to  these  state- 
ments made  by  Summers,  it  may  be  added  upon  well  authen- 
ticated testimony  that  Squire  Boone,  a  brother  of  Daniel,  with 
his  family  were  with  this  party  of  emigrants  and  remained 
over  the  same  winter  in  the  neighborhood  of  William  Russell, 
and  his  brother  Daniel  and  his  family.  Squire  Boone  was 
a  Missionary  Baptist  minister,  and  during  his  stay  at  or  near 
Castle's-woods,  planted  the  germ  from  which  sprang  Castle's- 
woods  Baptist  church  which  exists  to  this  day.  Again  it  is 
known  that  Squire  Boone  married  the  first  white  couple  that 
were  married   in   Kentucky. 

With  tlie  opening  of  the  Spring  of  1774  the  Indians  began 
their  depredations  upon  the  border,  and  Governor  Dunmore 
began  the  raising  and  mobilizing  of  a  Virginian  army  to  pun- 
ish the  savages.  The  army  was  divided  into  two  divisions,  the 
northern  division  was  commanded  by  Dunmore  himself,  the 
southern  division  commanded  by  Brg.  General  Andrew  Lewis, 
and  its  appointed  place  of  rendezvous  was  at  Camp  Union 
(now  Lewisburg,  West  Virginia).  To  this  southern  division 
belonged  Colonel  Wililam  Christian's  regiment  of  Fiucastle 
men,  to  which  was  attached  a  company  from  the  lower  Clinch 
commanded  by  Captain  William  Russell,  which  in  August, 
1774,  marched  for  the  place  of  rendezvous,  joining  en  route 

1654-1753  41 

on  New  River  the  regiment  to  which  it  belonged.  It  is  be- 
lieved that  the  line  of  march  of  Russell's  company  was  up 
the  Clinch  and  down  the  East  river,  passing  the  site  of  the 
present  city  of  Bhiefield,  West  Virginia.  In  Russell's  Com- 
pany were  Reece  Bowen,  Moses  Bowen,  the  latter  dying  from 
small  pox  on  the  expedition,  and  others  from  their  neighbor- 
hood in  the  Cove,  in  the  now  County  of  Tazewell.  Daniel 
Boone  was  left  in  command  of  Russell's  fort  and  the  border  in 
the  absence  of  Russell  and  his  men.  At  this  time  Reece  Bowen 
had  a  fort  at  Maiden  Spring,  which  was  located  on  the  farm 
of  Mr.  Reece  Bowen,  a  great  grand  son  of  the  Reece  Bowen, 
first  above  mentioned.  In  the  absence  of  Captain  Russell  and 
his  company,  the  neighbors  of  Reece  Bowen  had  gathered  in  his 
fort,  they  were  principally,  if  not  altogether,  women  and  chil- 
dren. Mrs.  Bowen  went  out  in  search  of  her  cows,  and  in  a 
marsh  she  discovered  Indian  signs,  immediately  returned  to 
the  fort,  and  dressed  up  in  male  attire  a  negro  woman,  gave  her 
a  rifle  gun,  and  caused  her  to  walk  to  and  fro  in  front  of  the 
door  or  gate  to  the  fort.  The  ruse  succeeded,  and  the  fort  was 
not  attacked. 

Between  the  years  of  1765  and  the  Spring  of  1774  there  had 
been  peace  along  the  border  -between  the  whites  and  the  In- 
dians. A  difference  of  opinion  exists  as  to  the  causes  which 
led  to  Dunmore's  War.  Some  have  asserted  that  it  had  its  ori- 
gin in  the  murder  of  some  Indians  on  the  Ohio  river  both  above 
and  below  Wheeling  in  the  Spring  of  the  latter  mentioned  year. 
Others  suppose  it  to  have  been  produced  by  the  instigation  of 
the  British  emissaries  and  the  influence  of  Canadian  traders. 
It  it  certain,  however,  that  numerous  outrages  were  committed 
upon  the  Indians  by  the  whites,  and  the  war  was  the  natural 
outgrowth  of  the  strained  relations  which  had  long  existed  be- 
tween the  Savages  and  the  white  colonists  in  their  midst.  Also 
immediately  after  the  perpetration  of  the  outrages,  Indians  in 
numerous  bands  and  marauding  parties  attacked  the  border 
settlements  and  bloodshed  and  murder  were  the  results. 

42  New  River  Settlements 

One  of  these  marauding  parties  left  the  north  bank  of  the 
Ohio  river  making  tlieir  way  up  to  the  settlements  of  the  Ly- 
brooks,  Chapmans  and  Snidows,  and  after  prowling  around 
several  days  it  was  discovered  by  some  of  the  settlers  that  they 
were  in  tlie  neighborhood,  and  thereupon  most  of  the  families 
took  refuge  in  the  forts  for  safety.  The  family  of  John  Chap- 
man abondoned  their  house  and  went  to  the  fort.  The  Indians 
burned  his  house  which  was  the  second  they  had  destroyed  for 
him.  It  has  already  been  stated  that  the  Chapmans,  Lybrooks, 
McKenseys  and  Snidows  had  a  fort  on  the  bank  of  New  river, 
at  the  extreme  upper  end  of  the  farm  now  known  as  the  Horse 
shoe,  and  that  Adam  Harman  had  a  fort  or  block  house  at  Gun- 
powder Spring,  in  which  his  family  and  perhaps  others  had  ta- 
ken shelter.  Philip  Lybrook  and  a  man  by  the  name  of  Mc- 
Griff  had  built  their  cabins  in  a  little  bottom  just  below  the 
mouth  of  Sinking  creek  on  the  farm  lately  known  as  that  of 
Croft  or  Hale,  and  were  engaged  in  the  cultivation  of  a  small 
crop  of  corn  on  the  bottom  lands.  Mr.  Lybrook  had  built  a 
small  mill  on  the  spring  branch.  As  was  the  custom  in  that 
day,  when  people  were  few  in  the  country,  for  the  young  people 
to  assemble  or  get  together  on  Sunday,  and  so  it  happened  that 
on  Sunday  the  7th  day  of  August,  1774,  that  some  of  the  chil- 
dren of  Mrs.  Elizabeth  Snidow,  who  has  heretofore  been  men- 
tioned, and  a  young  woman  by  the  name  of  Scott  went  on  a  vis- 
it from  the  fort  to  Lybrook's  and  McGriff's.  Mr.  Lybrook  was 
busy  about  his  mill,  McGriflf  was  in  the  house,  and  the  young 
people  and  the  smaller  children  were  at  the  river.  Two  of  the 
young  men,  a  Snidow  and  Baltzer  Lybrook,  were  out  some  dis- 
tance in  the  river  bathing,  and  three  or  four  of  the  little  boys 
were  playing  in  the  water  near  the  bank,  and  a  young  woman, 
the  daughter  of  Lybrook,  was  out  in  the  river  in  a  canoe  with 
some  of  the  small  children  therein,  when  an  Indian  was  dis- 
covered on  the  high  bank  overlooking  the  brink  of  the  river, 
and  the  alarm  was  given.  The  two  young  men  in  the  river  made 
for  the  opposite  shore,  the  Indians  in  the  mean  time  began  to 
shoot  at  them.    Being  expert  swimmers  they  turned  upon  their 

1654-1753  43 

backs  their  faces  being  turned  to  the  Indians,  enabled  them  to 
watch  their  movments.  The  four  small  boys  playing  in  the  wa- 
ter near  the  edge  of  the  river,  were,  viz.  Theophilus  Snidow, 
Jacob  Snidow,  Thomas  McGriff,  and  John  Lybrook.  There 
were  some  deep  gullies  washed  down  through  the  banks  of  the 
river,  by  way  of  which  wild  animals  had  made  their  way  to  the 
river  to  get  water,  and  when  the  little  boys  discovered  the  In- 
dians, they  attempted  to  escape  by  way  of  these  breaks  in  the 
bank,  and  as  they  did  so  the  Indians  would  head  them  off.  Fi- 
nally an  Indian  stooped  down  and  placed  one  hand  on  his  knee 
as  a  rest  for  his  gun,  and  attempted  to  shoot  one  of  the  young 
men  in  the  river,  and  at  this  moment  John  Lybrook,  a  boy  only 
eleven  years  old,  ran  under  the  muzzle  of  his  gun  and  made 
for  the  house.  So  soon  as  the  Indian  fired,  he  pursued  John, 
and  coming  to  one  of  the  gullies  which  had  washed  out  to  about 
the  width  of  twelve  feet,  the  Indian  close  upon  him,  John  leap- 
ed the  gully,  and  the  Indian  finding  he  could  not,  threw  his 
lariat  at  him,  striking  him  on  the  back  of  the  head,  at  the  same 
time  tumbling  into  the  gully.  By  this  time  the  two  young  men 
in  the  river  had  reached  the  opposite  shore,  and  were  hidden 
behind  the  trees,  and  discovering  that  John  had  safely  crossed 
the  gully,  they  cried  out  to  him,''Run  John  run,"and  John  ran, 
and  safely  reached  the  house.  While  this  was  transpiring  Miss 
Lybrook,  who  was  standing  in  the  rear  end  of  the  canoe,  was 
pushing  the  same  to  the  shore,  when  an  Indian,  who  was  hid- 
den in  the  weeds  on  the  bank  of  the  river  came  to  the  water's 
edge  and  reached  out  as  the  canoe  touched  the  bank,  and  pull- 
ed the  front  end  of  it  to  the  bank,  and  stepping  therein,  with 
his  war  club  began  striking  the  little  children  over  their  heads 
and  taking  their  scalps.  The  rear  end  of  the  canoe  being  down 
stream,  and  having  floated  near  to  the  bank  Miss  Lybrook 
sprang  out  and  started  to  the  house,  the  Indian  pursuing  her. 
Her  cries  brought  to  her  assistance  a  large  dog,  which  seized 
the  Indian  and  finally  threw  him,  but  the  Indian  succeeded  in 
getting  to  his  feet,  and  striking  the  dog  with  his  club,  but  in 
the  meantime,  the  young  woman  made  her    escape.    While  a 

44  New  River  Settlements 

part  of  the  Indians  were  on  the  river  shooting  at  the  young 
men  in  the  river,  capturing  the  boj'S,  and  killing  the  children,  a 
part  of  them  had  gone  to  the  mill  and  the  house.  One  shot  Mr. 
Lybrook,  breaking  his  arm  and  Mr.  McGriflf  shot  and  mortally 
wounded  one  of  the  Indians,  whose  remains  were  years  after- 
wards found  under  a  cliff  of  rocks  not  far  away  from  the  scene 
of  the  tragedy.  Three  of  the  little  boys,  Theophilus  Snidow, 
Thomas  McGriff  and  Jacob  Snidow  were  captured  by  the  In- 
dians and  carried  away  by  them,  and  after  traveling  with  them 
for  some  two  or  three  days,  they  formed  a  plan  of  escape,  and 
that  was  to  slip  away  at  night.  They  reached  Pipestem  Knob, 
now  in  Summers  County,  and  there  camped  for  the  night. 
During  the  night,  and  after  all  things  had  gotten  quiet,  two  of 
the  boys,  Jacob  Snidow,  and  Thomas  McGriff  slipped  away 
from  the  camp,  not  being  able  to  arouse  the  third  boy  without 
awaking  the  Indians,  and  thus  they  were  compelled  to  go  with- 
out him.  After  they  had  gotten  a  few  hundred  yards  from  the 
camp,  knowing  that  they  would  probably  be  pursued,  they 
crawled  into  a  hollow  log.  In  a  few  minutes  thereafter  the 
Indians  discovering  their  absence  raised  an  alarm  and  went 
in  search  of  the  runaways,  and  even  stood  on  the  log  in  which 
the  boys  were  hidden,  and  in  broken  English  cried  "Come 
back,  get  lost."  Not  being  able  to  find  the  boys,  they  gave  up 
the  hunt  and  returned  to  the  camp.  So  soon  as  everything  was 
quiet,  the  boys  came  out  of  their  hiding  place,  struck  through 
the  woods,  and  made  their  way  to  Culbertson's  bottom  on  the 
New  River,  where  they  were  afterwards  found  by  some  of  the 
scouts  from  the  settlement,  and  who  were  in  pursuit  of  the  In- 
dians. In  this  attack  Mr.  Philip  Lybrook  was  wounded,  three 
of  his  children,  and  a  young  woman  by  the  name  of  Scott,  two 
of  the  children, (small  girls)  of  Mrs.  Snidow  were  killed,  and 
the  three  boys  captured.  The  two  young  men  who  were  in  the 
river  when  the  attack  began,  and  had  reached  the  farther  bank 
ran  across  the  ridges  to  the  Gunpowder  Spring,  Harman's  fort 
and  halloed  across  the  river  to  the  people  in  the  fort  to  bring  a 
canoe  and  take  them  over,  but  the  people    being    afraid    they 

1654-1753  45 

were  Indians  refused  to  go.  After  waiting  some  time,  the 
young  men  being  afraid  of  pursuit  by  the  Indians,  plunged  in- 
to the  river,and  a  young  woman,  seeing  this  insisted  that  they 
were  white  men,  ran  to  the  river,  jumped  into  a  canoe,  and 
pushed  into  the  river  to  met  the  swimmers,  just  in  time  to  save 
one  of  them,  who  was  sinking  the  third  time,  and  who  no  doubt 
had  taken  a  cramp  by  reason  of  exertion  and  overheating  in 
his  run  across  the  ridges.  She  carried  them  safely  to  the  fort. 
Who  this  young  woman  was,  inquiry  fails  to  disclose,  and  now 
will  never  be  known,  but  she  deserves  a  place  in  history.  Col- 
onel William  Preston  was  at  the  time  of  this  attack,  the  com- 
mandant of  the  military  district  of  Fincastle,  and  was  then  at 
Draper's  Meadows  fort,  then  called  Preston's  fort,  and  writes 
a  letter  about  this  incident  on  the  13th  day  of  August,  1774, 
which  is  as  follows :  "This  summer  a  number  of  our  people  have 
been  killed  and  captured  by  the  northern  Indians.  Thomas 
Hogg,  and  two  men  near  the  mouth  of  the  Great  Kanawha, 
Walter  Kelly  with  three  or  four  other  persons  below  the  falls 
of  that  river,  William  Kelly  on  Muddy  creek,  a  branch  of  the 
Greenbrier  river,  and  a  young  woman  at  the  same  time  made 
prisoner.  One  of  the  scouts,  one  Shockley,  was  shot  in  this 
county  and  on  Sunday  the  7th  of  this  inst.,  a  party  attacked  the 
house  of  one  Laybrook  (Lybrook),  about  15  miles  from  this 
place.  Old  Laybrook  was  wounded  in  the  arm,  three  of  his 
children,  one  of  them  a  sucking  infant,  a  young  woman,  a 
daughter  of  one  Scott,  and  a  child  of  one  widow  Snide  (Sni- 
dow)  were  killed.  They  scalped  the  children,  all  but  one,  and 
mangled  them  in  a  most  cruel  manner.  Three  boys  were  made 
prisoners,  two  of  whom  made  their  escape  the  Wednesday  fol- 
lowing, and  were  found  in  the  woods  by  the  scouts.  The  Indians 
were  pursued  by  the  militia,  but  were  not  overtaken."  The 
number  of  Indians  in  this  marauding  party  numbered  six,  and 
all  this  mischief  was  done  by  them  in  a  very  few  minutes.  The 
Indians  escaped  with  their  prisoners  though  they  were  pursued 
by  a  company  of  men  under  a  Captain  Clendenin.  The  night  of 
the  7th  of  August  was  a  sad  one  at  the  fort.    Mrs.  Snidow  and 

46  New  River  Settlements 

Mrs.  Ljbrook  walked  the  floor  throughout  the  night,  weeping 
and  wringing  their  hands,  and  saying  that  "they  knew  where 
the  dead  children  were,  but  their  hearts  went  out  for  the  little 
boys,  captives."  The  pursuing  party  followed  the  Indians  down 
the  New  River  until  they  met  the  escaped  captives,  and  after 
listening  to  the  story  of  their  escape  and  calculating  that  the 
Indians  were  too  far  ahead  to  be  overtaken,  returned  with  the 
boys  to  the  settlement,  reaching  there  on  the  Wednesday  after 
their  capture  on  Sunday,  much  to  the  delight  and  joy  of  their 
mothers  and  friends.  Theophilus  Snidow,  the  other  captive 
boy,  was  carried  by  the  Indians  to  their  towns  north  of  the 
Ohio,  and  Avhen  he  had  reached  his  manhood  returned  to  his  peo- 
ple, but  in  delicate  health  with  pulmonary  troubles  from  which 
he  shortly  died.     (Lybrook  and  Snidow  Mss.) 

Poplar  Hill  on  Walker's  creek  in  the  now  County  of  Giles 
was  settled  in  the  year  of  1774  by  Samuel  Shannon,  who  came 
from  Amherst  County,  Virginia.  After  a  few  years  residence 
at  that  place  Mr.  Shannon  removed  to  the  vicinity  of  where 
Nashville,  Tennessee,  is  now  situated,  leaving  behind  him  his 
son  Thomas,  who  is  the  ancestor  of  the  Shannons  of  Giles  Coun- 
ty. This  Thomas  Shannon  became  one  of  the  most  prominent 
citizens  of  his  day  in  the  district  in  which  he  lived,  both  in  civil 
and  militarj^  affairs.  Occasion  will  be  presented  to  refer 
to  him  again  as  a  captain  in  command  of  a  company  in  the 
Revolutionary  war. 

In  the  Spring  of  1773  a  few  individuals  had  begun  to  make 
improvements  on  the  Kanawha  river  below  the  falls,  and  some 
land  adventurers  were  making  surveys  in  the  same  section. 
To  these  men  Captain  John  Stuart,  of  Greenbrier,  in  the  spring 
oC  1774,  had  by  direction  of  Colonel  Charles  Lewis,  sent  a  mes- 
senger to  Inform  them  that  apprehensions  were  entertained  of 
serious  trouble  with  the  Indians  and  advising  them  to  remove 
from  that  section.  When  Stuart's  messenger  arrived  at  the 
cabin  of  Walter  Kelly  at  the  mouth  of  Kelly's  Creek  on  the 
Kanawha,  twelve  niiles  below  the  falls,  he  found  Captain  John 
Field  Culpeper  engaged  in  making  surveys.    Kelly  at  once  sent 

1654-1753  47 

his  family  to  the  Greenbrier  valley  under  the  care  of  a  young- 
er brother,  but  Captain  Field,  regarding  the  apprehension  as 
groundless,  determined  to  remain  with  Kelly.  Very  soon  after 
Kelly's  family  had  left  the  cabin  and  while  yet  within  hearing 
of  it,  a  party  of  Indians  approached  unperceived  and  shot  Kel- 
ly, and  rushed  to  the  cabin  where  they  killed  a  negro  woman, 
and  took  prisoner  a  young  Scotsman.  Captain  Field  escaped 
and  on  his  way  to  the  Greenbrier  settlement  met  Captain  Stu- 
art with  a  body  of  men,  who  on  being  informed  of  what  had  oc- 
cured  decided  to  return  to  the  settlements  and  prepare  them 
for  defense. 

In  a  few  weeks  after  this  another  party  of  Indians  came  to 
the  settlements  in  the  Greenbrier  section  and  killed  Mr.  Kelly, 
the  brother  who  had  conducted  the  family  from  Kanawha,  and 
captured  his  neice.  These  outrages  along  the  border  impell- 
ed the  Virginia  government  to  take  action  to  repress  them,  and 
to  punish  the  Indians  by  the  destruction  of  their  towns  north 
of  the  Ohio;  and  it  was  determined  to  raise  an  army  for  that 
purpose.  The  army  destined  for  this  expedition  was  composed 
of  volunteers  and  militia,  mostly  from  the  counties  west  of  the 
Blue  Ridge,  and  consisted  as  already  stated  of  two  divisions. 
Lord  Dunmore  in  person  took  command  of  the  troops  raised  in 
Frederick  and  Dunmore  (the  latter  now  Shenandoah),  counties 
and  the  southern  division  composed  of  different  companies 
raised  in  Botetourt,  Augusta  and  Fincastle  with  one  company 
under  Captain  Field  from  the  County  of  Culpeper,  east  of  the 
Blue  Ridge,  and  two  companies  from  the  Holstein  and  Watauga 
settlements  under  Captains  Evan  Shelby  and  Herbert,  and  a 
company  under  Captain  William  Russell  from  the  Clinch,  and 
an  independant  company  from  Bedford  under  Captain  Buford. 
These  latter  companies  formed  a  part  of  the  forces  to  be  com- 
manded by  Colonel  William  Christian.  Near  the  first  day  of 
September  the  troops  commanded  by  General  Lewis  rendez- 
voused at  camp  Union,  now  Lewisburg,  and  consisted  of  two 
regiments  commanded  by  Colonel  William  Fleming  of  Boter- 
tourt,  and  Colonel  Charles  Lewis  of  Augusta,  and  numbering 

48  New  Kiver  Settlements 

about  four  hundred  men  each.  The  third  regiment,  under  Col- 
onel William  Christian,  was  composed  as  above  stated.  The 
force  under  General  Lewis  consisted  of  about  eleven  hundred 
men,  and  set  out  on  its  march  to  the  mouth  of  the  Kanawha  on 
the  eleventh  day  of  Sepetember,  1774.  The  northern  division  of 
the  army  composed  as  herein  before  stated  was  under  the  im- 
mediate command  of  Colonel  Adam  Stephens.  With  this  di- 
vision was  Lord  Dunmore  and  Major  John  Connoly.  Taking 
into  consideration  the  forces  already  in  the  field  under  Major 
Angus  McDonald  and  Captain  William  Crawford,this  northern 
division  numbered  some  twelve  hundred  (1200)  men;  along 
with  which  as  scouts,  were  George  Rogers  Clark,  Simon  Kenton 
and  Michael  Cresap.  The  country  between  Camp  Union  and 
the  mouth  of  the  Kanawha  river  was  a  trackless  forest  so 
rough,  rugged  and  mountainous  as  to  render  the  march  of  the 
army  exceedingly  tedious  and  laborious.  Captain  Mathew  Ar- 
buckle,  who  had  been  on  the  Kanawha  some  years  previous,  be- 
came the  guide  for  Lewis's  army  and  after  a  march  of  several 
days  it  reached  the  Ohio  river  on  the  sixth  day  of  October,  and 
fixed  its  encampment  on  the  point  of  land  between  that  river 
and  the  Great  Kanawha.  Owing  to  some  difference  between 
General  Lewis  and  Colonel  Field  as  to  priority  of  rank,  and 
Field  being  in  command  of  an  independant  volunteer  company 
not  raised  by  the  order  of  Governor  Dunmore,  but  brought  in- 
to the  field  by  his  own  exertion,  after  his  escape  from  the  In- 
dians at  Kelly's,  induced  him  to  separate  his  men  from  the 
main  body  of  the  army  on  its  march  and  to  take  a  different 
route  or  way  than  the  one  pursued  by  it,  depending  largely 
on  his  knowledge  of  the  country  to  lead  him  by  a  practicable 
route  to  the  river.  While  Field's  company  was  encamped  on 
the  banks  of  the  Little  Meadow  river,  a  branch  of  the  Gauley, 
two  of  his  men.  Clay  and  Coward  were  sent  out  to  hunt  deer 
for  the  company  and  were  attacked  by  the  Indians,  Clay  was 
killed,  but  Coward  made  his  way  back  to  camp,  first  having 
killed  one  of  the  Indians.  No  doubt  these  Indians  were  simply 
spies  watching  the    movements  of  Lewis's  army    and  the  one 

1654-1753  49 

who  escaped  was  able  to   make   report   to  his  fellows  on  the 

Early  on  the  morning  of  Monday,  the  tenth  (10)  day  of  Oc- 
tober, two  soldiers  left  the  camp  and  proceeded  up  the  Ohio  in 
quest  of  deer.  When  they  had  gone  about  two  miles  from  the 
camp,  they  unexpectedly  came  in  sight  of  a  large  number  of 
Indians  rising  from  their  encampment,  and  who  discovering 
the  two  hunters  fired  upon  them  and  killed  one.  The  other  es- 
caped unhurt,  and  running  to  the  camp  communicated  the  in- 
telligence, ''that  he  had  seen  a  body  of  the  enemy,  covering  four 
acres  of  ground  as  closely  as  they  could  stand  by  the  side  of 
each  other."  There  is  a  difference  in  authors  who  have  written 
upon  the  subject  as  to  who  these  two  men  were.  Withers  in  his 
Chronicles  says,  that  they  were  James  Mooney,  of  Russell's 
company,  and  Joseph  Hughey,  of  Shelby's  company,  and  that 
Hughey  was  killed  by  a  shot  fired  by  Tavenour  Russ,  a  white 
renagade  in  Cornstalk's  party;  while,  Haywood  the  author  of 
the  Civil  History  of  Tennessee  says,  these  men  were  James  Ro- 
bertson and  Valentine  Sevier,  of  Shelby's  company.  Both  ac- 
counts may  be  correct  in  this,  that  there  may  have  been  four 
men  out  hunting  deer,  instead  of  two. 

The  main  part  of  the  army  was  immediately  ordered  out  by 
General  Lewis,  one  wing  commanded  by  Colonel  Charles  Lewis 
and  the  other  by  Colonel  William  Fleming.  Forming  in  two 
lines  they  had  proceeded  for  a  short  distance  when  they  met  the 
Indians,  and  the  fierce  combat  began  which  lasted  throughout 
the  day  and  finally  resulted  in  the  withdrawal  of  the  Indian 
army.  The  loss  on  the  part  of  the  Virginians  was  severe  in  of- 
ficers and  men,  being  seventy  five  (75)  killed  and  one  hundred 
and  forty  (140)  wounded. 

The  following  gentlemen  with  others  of  high  reputation  in 
private  life,  were  officers  in  the  Battle  of  Point  Pleasant. 
General  Isaac  Sh^by,  fihe  first  Governor  of  Kentucky,  and  aftefh- 
wards  secretary  of  war;  General  Evan  Shelby  one  of  the  most 
favorite  citizens  of  Tennessee;-  Colonel  William  Fleming,  and 

50  New  River  Settlements 

acting  governor  of  Virginia  during  the  revolutionary  war;- 
General  Andrew  Moore,  of  Rockbridge,  the  first  man  ever  elec- 
ted in  Virginia  from  the  country  west  of  the  Blue  Ridge  to  the 
senate  of  the  United  States;  Colonel  John  Stasrt,  of  Green- 
brier; General  Tate,  of  Washington  county,  Virignia;  Col- 
onel William  McKee,  of  Lincoln  county,  Kentucky;  Colonel 
John  Steele,  at  one  time  governor  of  the  territory  of  Mississip- 
pi; Colonel  Charles  Camron,  of  Bath;  General  Bazeleel  Wells, 
of  Ohio,  and  General  George  Mathews,  a  distinguished  oflScer  in 
the  war  of  the  Revolution,  the  hero  of  Brandywine,  German- 
town  and  Guilford,  Governor  of  Georgia,  and  a  senator  from 
that  state  in  the  Congress  of  the  United  States.  The  salvation 
of  the  American  army  at  Germantown  is  ascribed  in  Johnston's 
life  of  General  Greene,  to  the  bravery  and  good  conduct  of  two 
regiments,  one  of  which  was  commanded  by  General,  then  Col- 
onel Matthews. 

In  this  battle  of  Point  Pleasant  was  John  Sevier,  who  be- 
came a  most  distinguished  citizen  of  Tennessee,  and  who  upon 
entering  upon  the  expedition  to  Point  Pleasant  regarded  and 
believed  himself  to  be  a  citizen  of  and  living  in  Virginia,  when 
in  fact,  he  at  that  time  was  within  the  territory  of  North  Caro- 

Another  distinguished  man  in  this  battle  was  Captain  Wil- 
liam Russel,  in  whose  company  was  Reece  Bowen,  who  distin- 
guished himself  in  the  battle  at  King's  Mountain  in  which  he 
laid  down  his  life  for  his  country. 

The  battles  of  the  Alamance  and  Point  Pleasant  were  in  re 
ality  the  opening  battles  of  the  American  revolution,  but  be 
hind  the  battle  of  Point  Pleasant,  and  which  urged  it  on  and 
brought  it  about  were  British  emissaries,  who  had  doubtless 
urged  the  Indians  on  to  deeds  of  bloodshed  and  murder  with 
the  view  and  set  purpose  of  destroying  the  colonists. 

No  attempt  has  been  made  herein  to  give  full  details  of  this 
last  mentioned  battle  as  this  has  been  fully  done  by  others. 
Although  a  short  respite  occurred  after  the  battle,  the  years  fol- 
lowing 1774  were  filled  with  horrors  beyond  description.    All 

1775-1794  51 

along  the  border  settlements  the  savages  made  repeated  forays, 
attacking  the  defenseless  inhabitants,  killing,  plundering,  burn- 
ing and  ravaging  the  country. 

On  the  twenty  fifth  day  of  April,  1774,  there  was  granted  by 
Dunmore,  Royal  Governor  of  Virginia,  to  Mitchell  Clay  assig- 
nee of  Lieutenant  John  Draper,  a  tract  of  eight  hundred  acres 
of  land  on  the  Bluestone  creek  in  Fincastle  county ;  this  tract 
was  then  known  and  is  still  known  as  the  "Clover  Bottom,"  sit- 
uated about  five  miles  north  of  Princeton  the  present  county 
seat  of  Mercer  county.  It  is  a  very  beautiful,  rich  body  of  bot- 
tom land,  and  one  of  the  most  valuable  tracts  to  be  found  in 
this  section  of  the  country.  By  the  terms  of  this  grant,  a  copy 
of  which  is  on  file  in  the  clerk's  office  of  the  county  court  of 
Mercer  county,  the  grantee  was  to  take  possession  of  this  tract 
of  land  within  three  years  from  the  date  of  the  grant.  Mitchell 
Clay,  at  the  date  of  the  grant,  lived  in  the  county  of  Franklin, 
Virginia,  and  exchanged  a  negro  woman  and  her  children  to 
John  Draper  for  this  land  and  took  from  Draper  an  assign- 
ment of  the  plat  and  certificate  of  survey,  upon  which  the 
grant  was  issued  to  Clay  as  the  assignee.  The  land  script  or 
warrant  upon  which  the  survey  was  based,  was  issued  to  Lieu- 
tenant John  Draper  for  services  rendered  by  him  in  the 
French  and  Indian  war. 




Mitchell  Clay  and  family  settled  on  Clover  Bottom — Mathew 
French  and  family  settle  on  Wolf  Creek — Declaration 
of  the  Fincastle  men — Fincastle  County  abolished  and 
Montgomery,  Washington  and  Kentucky  Counties  creat- 
ed— Captain  James  Moore  visits  Abb's  Valley — Peter 
Wright,  the  hunter,  in  the  northern  valleys  of  Peter's  and 
East  River  Mountains — Greenbrier  County  created  and 
its  bounaries — Rev.  John  Alderson  in  the  Greenbrier  Val- 
ley— Joseph  Cloyd  settles  on  Back  Creek — The  family  of 

52  New  River   Settlements 

Colonel  James  Graham  attacked  by  Indians— Donnally's 
Fort  attacked — Moredock  O.  McKensey  and  family  at- 
tacked by  Indians — Captain  Thomas  Burke,  Michael 
Woods,  John  Floyd,  and  John  Lucas  in  command  of  the 
Forts  1777-78 — Lybrooks,  Chapmans,  Snidows  and  others 
on  the  frontier — Edward  Hale  and  Joseph  Hare  in  New 
River  Valley  1779 — Tory  uprising  on  upper  New  River 
suppressed  by  Cloyd,  Campbell,  Crockett  and  Cleveland — 
David  Johnson  and  family,  from  Culpeper  County,  settles 
in  the  New  River  Valley — Illinois  County  created — Thom- 
as Ingles  locates  in  Wright's  Valley  and  removes  to  Burke's 
Garden — In  September  1779  John  Pauley  and  wife  and 
others  attacked  by  Indians  on  East  River — 1780,  John 
Toney  and  family,  from  lower  Virginia,  settle  at  the  mouth 
of  East  River — Family  by  name  of  Christian  settle  on  East 
River — John  G.  Davidson  and  Richard  Bailey  with  their 
families  settle  at  Beaver  Fond — William  Wilburn  and  Da- 
vid Hughes,  from  North  Carolina,  and  John  and  Beujainine 
White,  from  Amherst  County,  Virginia,  settle  on  Sugar 
Run — Major  Joseph  Cloyd  in  October  1780  leads  troops  to 
North  Carolina  and  fights  battles  at  Shallow  Ford  of  Yad- 
kin, Captain  Geo.  Pearis  wounded — Battle  of  King's  Moun- 
tain, part  of  Montgomery  county  men  killed  in  this  battle 
under  Lieutenants  Reece  Bowen  and  James  Moore,  Bow- 
en  killed  in  action — Battles  of  Wetzel's  Mill  and  Guilford 
court  house — Captain  Thomas  Shannon  leads  a  company 
of  New  River  Valley  men  in  these  battles — Captain  Geo. 
Pearis  settles  on  New  River  in  the  spring  of  1782 — Adam 
Caperton  killed  at  Estill's  defeat — The  country  alarmed 
by  the  attack  on  Thomas  Ingles,  military  called  out — 
Swarms  of  emigrants  cross  the  Alleghanies  in  1782-8-4 
and  settle  in  part  in  New  River  Valley,  and  others  go  to 
Kentucky — Peters,  Walker,  Smith,  Stowers  and  others 
come  in  1782 — Indian  raiding  pary  penetrate  the  Blue- 
stone  and  upper  Wolf  Creek  section,  steal  horses  and  es- 
cape— Mitchell  Clay's  family  attacked  by  Indians  at  Clo- 
ver Bottom  in  1783 — Captain  Geo.  Pearis  kills  an  Indian 
on  New  River — James  Moore,  Jr.,  captured  by  Indians 
in  Abb's  Valley — New  State  of  Franklin ,  effort  to  en- 
large its  boundaries  by  Campbell  and  others — Russell 
county  created  in  1785 — Captain  James  Moore  and  his 
family  attacked  by  forty  Shawnee  Indians  in  1786  and 
killed,  captured  and  destroyed— 1787,  Federal  Convention 
assembles  in  Philadelphia,  frames  a  Constitution  and  sub- 
mits it  to  the  States— 1788,  November  12th,  Captain  Henry 
Harman  and  his  sons  fight  a  battle  with  the  Indians  on  the 
banks  of  the  Tug— Harman's  battle  song— 1789,  William 

1775-1794  53 

Wheatley  killed  by  Indians — Family  of  James  Roark  de- 
stroyed— 1789,  October,  Mrs.  Virginia  Wiley  captured — 
Indian  marauding  band  on  head  of  Clinch  and  Bluestone 
in  1790 — Birth  of  Jonathan  Bailey — Wythe  County  crea- 
ted— Family  of  Andrew  Davidson  captured  by  the  Indians 
in  1791,  Davidson's  long  search  for  his  wife  and  her  rescue 
— Upper  Clinch  and  Bluestone  raided  by  Indians  in  July, 
1792,  pursued  by  Major  Robert  Crockett,  Gilbert  killed  and 
Lusk  captured — Lusk  and  Mrs.  Wiley  escape  in  the  fall 
of  1792 — John  G.  Davidson  murdered  by  Indians  and  a 
white  man,  one  Rice,  on  the  8th  day  of  March,  1793 — In- 
dians pursued,  overtaken  at  Island  of  Guyandotte,  skir- 
mish follows — Petition  of  Robert  Crockett,  Joseph  David- 
son and  fifty  others  to  the  Governor  of  Virginia — Alarm  in 
the  New  River  section  and  Governor  calls  out  a  military 
company  under  Captain  Hugh  Caperton  which  is  stationed 
on  the  Kanawha,  Daniel  Boone  the  commissariat — Ma- 
rauding party  of  Indans  in  1793,  the  last  on  the  waters  of 
the  upper  Clinch  and  Bluestone — Wayne's  great  victory 
over  the  United  Indian  Tribes  in  Ohio  on  August  the  twen- 
tieth, 1794,  brings  peace  to  the  Virginia  Border — Swarms 
of  land  speculators  and  surveyors  on  the  Ohio  Waters, 
north  and  west  of  the  settlements — Numerous  and  large 
grants  of  land  to  Robert  Morris,  the  patriot  and  finan- 
cier— Grants  to  Pollard,  Hopkins,  Young,  McLaughlin, 
Moore  and  Beckley,  Bliss,  Dwight  and  Granger,  Rutter 
and  Etting,  Dr.  John  Dillion,  Dewitt  Clinton,  Robert  Mc- 
Cullock,  Wilson  Gary  Nicholas,  Wilson^  Pickett,  Smith 
and  others — Manners  and  customs  of  the  border  people, 
their  religious  life — Early  Ministers. 

Mitchell  Clay  (1)  settled  on  the  Clover  Bottom  tract  of  land 
hereinbefore  referred  to  in  the  year  of  1775.  Save  one,  this  was 
the  first  white  settlement  made  within  what  is  now  the  present 
territorial  limits  of  Mercer  County.  Andrew  Culbertson's 
settlement  on  Culbertson's  Bottom,  which  was  once  a  part 
of  the  territory  of  Mercer  County,  was  made  twenty 
years  prior  to  that  of  Clay  on  the  Clover  Bottom.  Clay 
and  his  family  remained  on  this  land  undisturbed  for  a  period 
of  about  eight  years,  but  were  finally  attacked  by  the  Indians, 

(1)  Richard  Bailey,  son  of  the  elder  Richard,  the  Settler,  made 
about  1790  the  first  settlement  at  the  mouth  of  Widemouth  Creek  on 
Bluestone,  a  few  miles  above  where  Clay  settled  in  1775. 

54  New  Eiver   Settlements 

part  of  the  family  killed,  and  one  captured,  a  full  account  of 
which  will  be  given  herein  later  on. 

In  the  year  1775  Mathew  French  and  his  family,  from  the 
County  of  Culpeper,  Virginia,  settled  on  Wolf  Creek,  about 
six  miles  from  its  mouth,  now  in  Giles  County,  on  what  is 
known  as  the  Boyd  farm. 

Settlements  were  made  by  the  Bromflelds  on  New  Kiver 
about  the  mouth  of  Big  Stony  Creek,  in  1776,  and  the  same  year 
by  the  Hatfields  on  said  Creek,  on  what  is  now  known  as  the 
David  J.  L.  Snidow  place,  where  the  Hatfields  erected  a  fort. 
On  Lick  Branch,  flowing  into  Big  Stony  Creek  from  the  north, 
In  the  early  days,  there  was  a  deer  lick,  and  on  an  occassion  it 
happened  that  a  Bromfield  and  Hatfield  went  the  same  night 
to  watch  this  lick,  neither  knowing  that  the  other  was  there, 
or  to  be  there.  One  took  the  other  for  a  bear  moving  around 
in  the  brush  and  shot  and  killed  him. 

On  the  20th  day  of  January,  1775,  the  Freemen  of  Fincastle 
County  assembled  at  Lead  Mines,  and  made  a  declaration  which 
was  the  precursor  of  that  of  July  4th,  1776,  made  by  the  Con- 
gress at  Philadelphia.  This  declaration  of  the  Fincastle  men 
foreshadowing  American  independence  was  the  first  one  made 
in  America,  and  it  so  fully  breathes  the  spirit  of  independence 
and  freedom  that  it  is  here  inserted  in  full : 

"In  obedience  to  the  resolves  of  the  Continental  Congress  a 
meeting  of  the  freeholders  of  Fincastle  County,  in  Virginia, 
was  held  on  the  20th  day  of  January,  1775,  and  who,  after  ap- 
proving of  the  association  formed  by  that  august  body  in  behalf 
of  all  the  colonies,  and  subscribing  thereto,  proceeded  to  the 
election  of  a  committee,  to  see  the  same  carried  punctually  into 
execution,   when  the  following  gentlemen  were     nominated: 

The  Eeverend  Charles  Cummings,  Colonel  William  Preston, 
Colonel  William  Christian,  Captain  Stephen  Trigg,  Major  Ar- 
thur Campbell,  Major  William  Ingles,  Captain  Walter  Crock- 
ett, Captain  John  Montgomery,  Captain  James  McGavock, 
Captain  William  Campbell,   Captain  Thomas  Madison,  Cap- 

1775-1794  55 

tain  Evan  Shelby  and  Lieutenant  William  Edmondson.  After 
the  election,  the  committee  made  choice  of  Colonel  William 
Christian  for  their  chairman,  and  appointed  Mr.  David 
Campbell  to  be  clerk. 

The  following  address  was  then  unanimously  agreed  to  by 
the  people  of  the  County  and  is  as  follows: 

To  the  Honourable  Peyton  Randolph,  Esquire,  Richard  Hen- 
ry Lee,  George  Washington,  Patrick  Henry,  Junior,  Richard 
Bland,  Benjamin  Harrison  and  Edmund  Pendleton,  Esquires, 
the  delegates  from  this  colony  who  attended  the  Continental 
Congress  held  at  Philadelphia:  Gentlemen:  Had  it  not  been 
for  our  remote  situation,  and  the  Indian  war  which  we  were 
lately  engaged  in,  to  chastise  these  cruel  and  savage  people  for 
the  many  murders  and  depredations  they  have  committed 
amongst  us,  now  happily  terminated  under  the  auspices  of  our 
present  worthy  Governor,  his  Excellency,  the  Right  Honour- 
able Earl  of  Dunmore,  we  should  have  before  this  time  made 
known  to  you  our  thankfulness  for  the  very  important  services 
you  have  rendered  to  your  country,  in  conjunction  with  the 
worthy  delegates  from  the  other  provinces.  Your  noble  efforts 
for  reconciling  the  mother  country  and  the  colonies,  on  rational 
and  constitutional  principles,  and  your  pasifick,  steady  and 
uniform  conduct  in  that  arduous  work,  immortalize  you  in 
the  annals  of  your  country.  We  heartily  concur  in  your  res- 
olutions and  shall,  in  every  instance,  strictly  and  invariably 
adhere  thereto. 

We  assure  you,  gentlemen,  and  all  our  countrymen,  that  we 
are  a  people  whose  hearts  overflow  with  love  and  duty  to  our 
lawful  Sojvereign,  George  the  Third,  whose  illustrious  House  fop 
several  successive  reigns  have  been  the  guardians  of  the  civil 
and  religious  rights  and  liberties  of  British  subjects,  as  settled 
at  the  glorious  revolution;  that  we  are  willing  to  risk  our  lives 
in  the  service  of  his  Majesty  for  the  support  of  the  Protestant 
Religion,  and  the  rights  and  liberties  of  his  subjects,  as  they 
have  been  established  by  compact,  Law  and  Ancient  Charters. 
We  are  heartily  grieved  at  the  differences  which  now  subsist 

56  New   Riveb   Settlements 

between  tlie  parent  state  and  the  colonies,  and  most  urgently 
wish  to  see  harmony  restored  on  an  equitable  basis,  and  by  the 
most  lenient  measures  that  can  be  devised  by  the  heart  of  man. 
Many  of  us  and  our  forefathers  left  our  native  land,  consid- 
ering it  as  a  Kingdom  subjected  to  inordinate  power ;  we  cross- 
ed the  Atlantic  and  explored  this  then  wilderness,  bordering 
on  many  Natives  or  Savages  and  surrounded  by  mountains 
almost  inaccessible  to  any  but  those  various  Savages,  w^ho  have 
insistantly  been  committing  depredations  on  us  since  our  first 
settling  the  Country.  These  fatigue^i  and  dangers  were  patient- 
ly encountered,  supported  by  the  pleasing  hope  of  enjoying 
these  rights  and  liberties  which  had  been  granted  to  Virginiiins, 
and  denied  us  in  our  native  country,  and  of  transmitting  them 
inviolate  to  our  posterity;  but  even  to  this  remote  region  the 
hand  of  enmity  and  unconstitutional  power  hath  proceeded  us 
to  strip  of  that  liberty  and  property  with  which  God,  Nature, 
and  the  Rights  of  Humanity  have  visited  us.  We  are  ready 
and  willing  to  contribute  all  in  our  power  for  the  support  of 
his  Majesty's  Government  if  applied  to  considerately,  and 
when  grants  are  made  by  our  own  Representatives,  but  cannot 
think  of  submitting  our  liberty  or  property  to  the  power  of  a 
venal  British  Parliament,  or  the  will  of  a  greedy  ministry. 

We  by  no  means  desire  to  shake  off  our  duty  or  allegiance 
to  our  lawful  Sovereign,  but  on  the  contrary  shall  ever  glory 
in  being  the  royal  subjects  of  the  Protestant  Prince,  descended 
from  such  illustrious  progenitors,  so  long  as  we  can  enjoy  the 
free  exercise  of  our  religion  as  Protestants,  and  of  our  liberties 
and  properties  as  British  subjects.  But  if  no  pacific  measures 
shall  be  proposed  or  adopted  by  Great  Britain,  and  our  enemies 
will  attempt  to  dragoon  us  out  of  these  inestimable  privileges 
which  we  are  entitled  to  as  subjects,  and  to  reduce  us  to  a  state 
of  slavery,  we  declare  that  we  are  deliberately  determined  nev- 
er to  surrender  them  to  any  power  upon  earth  but  at  the  ex- 
pense of  our  lives. 

These  are  real  though  unpolished  sentiments  of  liberty,  and 
in  them  we  are  resolved  to  live  or  die." 

1775-1794  57 

We  are,  gentlemen,  with  the  most  perfect  esteem  and  re- 

Your  most   obedient  servants," 
From  the  American  Archives,4th  Series,  1st  Volume,  page  1166 

The  men  who  made  and  promulgated  this  declaration  were 
then,  and  afterwards  became  among  the  most  distinguished  cit- 
izens who  crossed  the  Alleghanies,  and  were  first  and  foremost 
in  fomenting  and  sustaining  our  glorious  revolution.  Evidence 
is  not  wanting  that  between  1755  and  1758  some  of  these  men, 
viz.,  the  Crocketts,  McGavocks  and  others,  among  them  the  Gra- 
hams, Tates  and  Sawyers  had  located  in  the  section  of  country 
now  in  Pulaski  and  Wythe  counties,  but  on  account  of  Indian 
incursions  were  driven  back  into  the  Rockbridge  country  from 
whence  they  came,  and  that  later  they  came  again  and  remain- 
ed permanently.  It  is  generally  understood  that  the  Crocketts 
McGavocks,  Grahams  and  Sawyers  were  all  of  Scotch-Irish  ex- 
traction. Among  these  people  were  found  the  bravest  and 
most  valiant  soldiers  in  all  our  wars. 

In  October,  1776,  the  general  assembly  of  Virginia  by  an  act 
abolished  the  county  of  Fincastle,  and  out  of  its  territory  crea- 
ted the  counties  of  Kentucky,  Washington  and  Montgomery. 
The  following  is  the  boundary  lines  of  said  coun;ie9  as  given  in 
said  act,  viz: 

^'That  from  and  after  the  last  day  of  December  next  ensuing, 
the  said  county  of  Fincastle  shall  be  divided  into  three  coun- 
ties :  that  is  to  say,  all  that  part  thereof  which  lies  to  the  south 
and  westw^ard  of  a  line  beginning  on  the  Ohio  at  the  mouth  of 
the  Great  Sandy  Creek  and  running  up  said  creek  and  the  main 
line  beginning  at  the  Cumberland  Mountain  where  the  line  of 
north  or  northeasternly  branch  thereof  to  the  Great  Laurel 
Ridge  or  Cumberland  Mountain  thence,  south-westardly  along 
the  said  mountains  to  the  line  of  North  Carolina,  shall  be  one 
district  County  called  and  known  by  the  name  of  Kentucky : 
And  all  of  that  part  of  the  County  of  Fincastle  included  in  the 
line  beginning  at  the  Cumberland  Mountain  where  the  line  of 

58  New   River   Settlements 

Kentucky  County  intersects  the  North  Carolina  line  to  the  top 
of  Iron  Mountain,  thence  along  the  same  eastwardly  to  the 
source  of  the  South  Fork  of  the  Holstein  River:  thence,  west- 
wardly  along  the  highest  part  of  the  highlands,  ridges  and 
mountains  that  divide  the  waters  of  the  Tennessee  from  those 
of  the  Great  Kanawha  to  the  most  easterly  source  of  the  Clinch 
River :  thence,  westwardly  along  the  top  of  the  mountains  that 
divide  the  waters  of  the  Clinch  from  those  of  the  Great  Kan- 
awha and  Sandy  Creek  to  the  line  of  Kentucky  County,  thence 
along  the  same  to  the  beginning,  shall  be  one  otlier  district 
County  and  called  and  known  by  the  name  of  Washington,  and 
all  the  residue  of  the  Countj-  of  Fincastle,  shall  be  one  other 
distinct  County  and  shall  be  called  and  known  by  the  name  of 

The  Justices  to  meet  and  hold  Court  for  Kentucky  County 
at  Harrodsburg :  Washington  at  Black's  fort :  for  Montgomery 
at  Fort  Chiswell." 

The  Representatives  of  Fincastle  County-  in  the  Convention 
which  assembled  at  Williamsburg,  and  which  adopted  the  first 
republican  constitution  ever  adopted  in  America,  were  Arthur 
Campbell  and  William  Russel.  Arthur  Campbell  was  born  in 
the  valley  of  Virginia  and  William  Russell  in  Culpeper  County, 
Virginia,  the  latter  in  1748  and  died  in  Fayette  County,  Ken- 
tucky, July  23rd,  1825.  He  was  a  captain  at  the  battle  of  Point 
Pleasant,  member  of  the  Virginia  legislature  of  1780,  member  ot 
the  Kentucky  legislature  from  the  foundation  of  the  State  to 
1808,  again  in  1823,  colonel  of  the  Seventh  United  States  Infan- 
try in  1811,  and  commanded  on  the  frontiers  of  Indiana,  Illi- 
nois and  Missouri. 

Colonel  William  Christian  was  the  Representative  of  Fin- 
castle County  in  the  year  of  1776,  in  the  House  of  Delegates. 

In  the  year  of  1770  John  McComas  and  Thomas  H.  Napier 
with  their  families  came  from  western  Maryland  and  settled 
on  the  New  River  below  the  mouth  of  Walker's  Creek,  but  sub- 
sequently removed  to  the  neighborhood  of  where  Pearisburg, 
Virginia,  is  now  situated,  and  they,  together  with  the  Hall's, 

1775-1794  59 

built  Fort  Branch  on  the  land  lately    owned  by    Charles  D. 
French,  Esq. 

Peter's  Mountain  was  named  for  Peter  Wright,  an  old  back- 
woodsman who  about  1776  explored  and  hunted  along  the  val- 
leys at  its  northern  base,  as  well  as  along  the  valley  at  the  base 
of  East  River  Mountain,  in  which  latter  valley  the  present  city 
of  Bluefield,  West  Virginia,  is  located,  and  this  valley  is  still 
called  Wright's  valley,  for  the  same  Peter  Wright. 

John  Alderson,  senior,  born  in  England,  came  to  New  Jersey 
about  1737  and  married  Miss  Curtis.  Mr.  Alderson  became  a 
Baptist  minister,  and  finally  removed  to  Rockingham  County^ 
Virginia.  He  had  a  son  John,  who  also  became  a  Baptist  min- 
ister, and  who  married  Miss  Carroll  of  Rockingham  County. 
John  Alderson,  Junior,  visited  the  Greenbrier  section  of  coun- 
try in  1775,  and  selected  a  body  of  land  on  the  Greenbrier  river, 
which  he  had  surveyed,  covering  the  site  of  the  present  town  of 
Alderson  in  Monroe  County.  He  returned  to  Rockingham,  and 
in  1777  removed  to  his  land  on  the  Greenbrier  and  built  his 
cabin  where  the  Alderson  Hotel  now  stands.  He  was  a  man  of 
great  intelligence  and  indomitable  will  and  energy,  and  was 
the  first  Baptist  preacher  who  carried  the  Gospel  into  that  re- 
gion ;  he  organized  the  Greenbrier  Baptist  Church  in  1781,  and 
through  his  instrumentality  a  number  of  other  churches 
and  the  Greenbrier  Association  were  organized.  His  life  was 
a  long  and  useful  one,  and  made  an  impress  on  the  people  in 
the  section  in  which  he  lived  that  will  be  felt  by  generations 
yet  unborn. 

On  the  west  bank  of  the  Greenbrier  River  in  the  now  county 
of  Summers,  in  the  year  of  1777  lived  Colonel  James  Graham 
with  his  family.  One  night  in  the  early  autumn  of  that  year 
after  the  family  had  retired,  a  knock  was  heard  at  the  door, 
and  a  voice  called  in  broken  English  '^open  door"  saying  at  the 
same  time  by  way  of  assurance,  "Me  no  Injun."  At  the  time 
there  was  in  the  house  only  Colonel  Graham  and  his  wife,  their 
children,  Elizabeth  and  a  young  brother  occupied  an  attached 
cabin  off  from  the  main  building.     Being  refused  admittance. 

60  New   River   Settlements 

the  Indians  witlidrew  a  short  distance  and  began  firing  through 
the  door  with  their  rifles,  and  finally  discovered  in  the  detach- 
ed cabin  the  presence  of  the  two  children,  they  fired  through 
the  clapboards  and  shattered  the  little  boy's  leg  with  a  rifle 
ball,  and  then  proceeding  into  the  house,  they  took  both  chil- 
dren, and  started  off  seemingly  well  satisfied  with  their  success, 
and  went  into  camp  a  short  distance  away.  The  next  morning 
the  little  boy  being  unable  to  travel  they  dashed  his  brains  out 
against  a  tree.  The  little  girl,  Elizabeth,  only  about  eight  years 
old  was  carried  by  them  into  captivity,  where  she  remained 
about  eight  years,  and  was  finally  ransomed  by  her  father  in 
1785.  She  came  home  and  married  a  man  by  the  name  of 
Stodghill,  and  lived  to  a  ripe  old  age.  The  name  Stodghill 
is  called  by  the  people  of  Monroe  and  Greenbrier  Valley,  "Stur- 

The  Legislature  of  Virginia  in  October,  1777,  created  the 
County  of  Greenbrier,  the  act  to  take  effect  March  first,  1778, 
which  act  reads  as  follows;  "That  from  and  after  the  first 
day  of  March  next  ensuing,  the  said  county  and  parish  of  Bote- 
tourt, shall  be  divided  by  a  line  beginning  on  the  top  of  the 
ridge  which  divides  the  eastern  from  the  western  waters,  where 
the  line  between  Augusta  and  Botetourt  crosses  the  same,  and 
running,  thence  the  same  course  continued  N.  55  W.  to  the 
Ohio,  thence  beginning  at  the  said  ridge  at  the  said  line  of 
Botetourt  and  Augusta,  running  along  the  top  of  said  ridge, 
passing  the  Sweet  Springs  to  the  top  of  Peter's  Mountain, 
thence  along  the  said  mountain  to  the  line  of  Montgomery 
County,  thence  along  the  same  mountain  to  the  Kanawha  or 
New  River,  thence  down  the  said  river  to  the  Ohio." 

Colonel  William  Preston  some  time  previous  to  the  month 
of  August,  1774,  removed  from  his  estate  at  Greenfield,  near 
Amsterdam  on  the  James,  to  Draper's  Meadow,  the  name  of 
which  as  before  stated,  he  changed  to  Smithfield.  There  came 
with  him  or  shortly  thereafter,  a  young  man  by  the  name  of 
Joseph  Cloyd,  the  son  of  David  Cloyd,  whose  wife  and  son 
John  were  murdered  by  the  Indians  in  March  1764,  about  five 

1775-1794  61 

miles  west  of  the  present  town  of  Fincastle,  Virginia.  As  stat- 
ed in  a  letter  from  Mrs.  Elizabeth  Campbell  Adams,  of  Radford, 
Virginia,  to  the  author,  the  maiden  name  of  the  wife  of  David 
Clojd,  was  Miss  Margaret  Campbell.  It  had  been  stated  by 
writers,  and  perhaps  believed  by  his  family  that  Joseph  Cloyd 
settled  on  Back  Creek  in  what  is  now  the  County  of  Pulaski, 
Virginia,  about  the  year  of  1775.  This  is  believed  to  be  a  mis- 
take as  to  the  year,  as  the  declaration  of  the  Fincastle  men 
was  made  on  the  20th  day  of  January,  1775,  and  Mr.  Cloyd 
would  certainly  have  been  at  that  meeting  unless  sick  or  absent 
from  the  country,  and  it  is  most  likely  therefore  that  had  Mr. 
Cloyd  been  at  home  or  at  the  residence  of  Colonel  William 
Preston  he  would  have  been  among  the  men  who  signed 
that  declaration.  The  absence  of  his  name  indicates  in  the  ab- 
sence of  explanation  that  he  did  not  settle  so  early  as  1775  on 
Back  Creek,  as  has  been  stated. 

Mr.  Cloyd  became  one  of  the  most  highly  honored  citizens 
of  the  county,  both  in  civic  and  military  affairs.  He  left  be- 
hind him  wealthy,  highly  honored,  and  respected  descendants. 
A  full  sketch  of  Joseph  Cloyd  and  his  civil  and  military  re- 
cord will  be  given  in  the  Appendix  to  be  added  to  this  work. 

From  the  date  of  the  building  of  Fort  Chiswell  by  Colonel 
William  Byrd  in  1758  and  from  1759  and  after,  on  and  along 
the  upper  waters  of  the  New  River  and  on  the  Holstein,  settle- 
ments were  made  by  the  McGavocks,  Campbells,  McFarlands, 
Howes,  Hoges,  and  others,  but  of  which  little  has  been  or  will 
be  said  in  this  work,  as  being  beyond  its  scope,  and  beside 
this,  the  history  of  this  people  has  been  so  fully,  clearly  and  in- 
terestingly presented  by  Mr.  Summers  in  his  "His.  of  South 
western  Virginia  and  of  Washington  County,"  that  he  has  left 
little,  if  anything,  additional  to  be  related.  The  chief,  reason 
for  mentioning  Mr.  Joseph  Cloyd  is,  that  his  history,  and  that 
of  his  family  in  part,  is  so  closely  connected  with  the  history 
of  the  Middle  New  River  people  that  their  history  would  not  be 
complete  without  that  of  Mr.  Cloyd. 

After  the  battle  of  Point  Pleasant  the  Virginia  government 

62  New   River   Settlements 

built  Fort  Randolph  at  the  mouth  of  the  Great  Kanawha,  and 
there  established  a  military  post,  in  command  of  which  was 
Captain  McKee.  In  the  month  of  May,  1778,  a  force  of  some 
two  hundred  Indians  attacked  this  fort,  but  were  finally  beat- 
en  off  by  the  garrison  and  compelled  to  withdraw.  The  Indians 
proceeded  up  the  Kanawha  and  Captain  McKee  being  satisfied 
from  the  direction  taken  by  them,  that  their  objective  point 
was  the  Greenbrier  settlements,  called  for  volunteers  to  go  im- 
mediately to  the  settlements  and  warn  the  settlers  of  the  ap- 
proach of  the  Indians.  Phillip  Hammond  and  John  Pryor  at 
once  volunteered,  and  being  rigged  out  as  Indian  Scouts, 
they  reached  the  settlement  safely,  and  their  timely  notice,  no 
doubt,  saved  a  terrible  massacre. 

Before  passing  to  the  attack  on  Donnally'g  Fort  attention 
will  be  called  to  the  dangerous  situation  along  the  border  in 
the  year  of  1777.  Outrages  and  murders  were  committed  by 
the  Indians  upon  the  white  settlers  in  many  places,  and  the 
people  found  it  necessary  to  flee  to  the  forts  for  safety.  Along 
the  middle  settlements  on  New  River  from  Barger's  Fort'  on 
Tom's  Creek  to  Donnally's  Fort  on  Rader's  Run,  and  Cook's 
Fort  on  Indian  Creek  the  settlers  were  kept  huddled  in  the 
forts  during  almost  the  whole  summer.  At  Barger's  Fort  Cap- 
tain John  Floyd  was  in  command  of  the  military.  Christian 
Snidow  at  the  Snidow  and  Lybrook  Fort  at  the  mouth  of  Sink- 
ing Creek,  Captain  Thomas  Burke  at  Hatfield's  Fort  on  Big 
Stony  Creek,  Captain  Michael  Woods  at  Woods'  Fort,  Cap- 
tain John  Lucas  at  Fort  Field  on  Culbertson's  bottom.  In 
these  Forts  or  some  of  them  were  John  Lybrook,  John  Chap- 
man, Isaac  Chapman  and  others  and  some  of  these  people  were 
with  Captain  John  Lucas  scouting  along  the  New  River  about 
Culbertson's  bottom,  and  stationed  at  Farley's  Fort  and  Fort 

Donnally's  Fort  was  situated  about  ten  miles  west  of  the 
present  town  of  Lewisburg,  on  Rader's  Run.  As  soon  as  the  in- 
telligence of  the  approach  of  the  Indians  was  given  to  Donnally 
by  the  two  scouts  he  had  all  the  neighbors  advised  of  it,  and 

1775-1794  63 

in  the  course  of  the  night  they  gathered  into  the  Fort  about 
twenty  one  men.  He  also  dispatched  a  messenger  to  Captain 
John  Stuart  at  the  fort  at  Lewisburg  advising  him  of  the  ad- 
vance of  the  Indians.  Full  preparation  was  made  to  resist  the 
attack,  which  was  begun  the  next  morning  at  an  early  hour. 
Captain  Stuart  with  Colonel  Samuel  Lewis  went  with  sixty 
men  to  the  relief  of  Donnally  and  succeeded  in  entering  the 
fort  without  loss.  During  the  attack  four  of  the  whites  were 
killed,  viz :  Pritcher  before  the  attack  commenced,  James  Burns 
and  Alexander  Ochiltree  as  they  were  coming  to  the  house  ear- 
ly in  the  morning  and  James  Graham  while  in  the  fort.  Seven- 
teen of  the  Indians  lay  dead  in  the  yard,  and  others  of  their 
slain  were  carried  off  by  them.  Until  the  arrival  of  Stuart  and 
Lewis,  there  were  twenty  one  men  in  the  fort  which  was  aug- 
mented by  their  force  to  eighty  seven,  while  the  Indian  army 
exceeded  two  hundred.  The  Indians  failing  in  the  attack  with- 
drew and  retreated.  While  this  attack  upon  Donnally's  Fort 
was  being  threatened  and  made,  a  number  of  men  gathered 
at  Jarrett's  and  Keeney's  Fort,  made  up  in  part  of  men  from 
Captain  Joseph  Renfroe's  company  from  Bedford  County, 
among  them  Josiah  Meadows  who  makes  a  full  statement  in 
regard  thereto  in  his  declaration  for  a  pension  before  the  Coun- 
ty court  of  Giles  County  in  the  year  of  1832. 

From  the  Chapman  Ms.  in  posession  of  the  author  it  appears 
that  Moredock  O.  McKensey,  who  came  from  Culpeper  Counly 
with  John  and  Richard  Chapman  and  settled  at  the  mouth  of 
Walker's  Creek  in  1771,  had  removed  in  the  spring  of  1778  to 
the  mouth  of  Wolf  Creek,  on  New  River,  and  built  his  cabin  be- 
low and  near  the  spring  on  the  bottom,  a  few  yards  south  of  the 
house  in  which  the  late  Joseph  Hare  recently  resided.  McKen- 
sey's  family  consisted  of  himself,  his  wife,  his  sons  Isaac  and 
Henley,  and  his  daughters  Sallie,  Elizabeth,  Margaret,  Mary 
Anne,  a  nursing  child  and  a  hired  girl — a  Miss  Estridge,  a 
daughter  of  Richard  Estridge.  The  people  who  were  beginning 
settlements  had  no  enclosed  boundaries  in  which  to  place  their 
stock,  and  they  belled  their  horses  and  turned  them  out  into 

64  New   River   Settlements 

the  woods.  Mr.  McKensey  had  done  so  with  his  horses,  and 
on  the  morning  of  the  day  on  which  the  attack  was  made  upon 
his  family  by  the  Indians,  which  was  in  the  month  of  May  of 
1778,  they  could  not  hear  the  bells,  and  supposing  that  the 
horses  had  attempted  to  go  back  to  Walker's  Creek,  the  place 
from  which  he  had  recently  removed,  he  took  with  him  his 
eldest  son,  Isaac,  then  about  twenty  years  of  age,  and  started  to 
look  for  the  horses.  Henley,  the  next  son,  was  close  by  the 
house,  engaged  in  making  hills  in  which  to  plant  sweet  pota- 
toes. Mr.  McKensey  and  his  son  went  up  New  River  and  when 
they  had  reached  the  top  of  what  is  known  as  Big  Hill,  near 
where  Pearisburg  station  on  the  line  of  the  Norfolk  &  Western 
Railway  Company  is  now  situated,  they  heard  the  report  of 
the  discharge  of  a  gun  in  the  direction  of  their  home,  and  they 
immediately  turned  and  ran  rapidly  back,  meeting  at  Wolf 
Creek  the  Estridge  girl,  who  gave  them  information  as  to  what 
had  occurred  at  the  house.  The  Indians  lying  in  wait  and 
watching,  had  seen  McKensey  and  his  son  go  away  from  the 
house,  and  waiting  long  enough  for  them  to  get  a  suflScient 
distance  not  to  interfere  with  their  outrages,  began  their  work 
by  shooting  young  Henley  dead  on  the  spot.  They  then  rushed 
to  the  house,  but  Mrs.  McKensey  and  her  oldest  daughter,  Sal- 
lie,  closed  and  barred  the  door.  They  had  no  weapons  inside 
save  an  axe.  One  of  the  Indians  pressed  against  the  door  until 
he  got  his  head  and  shoulders  inside  the  same,  when  the  daugh- 
ter, Sallie,  with  an  axe  struck  him  a  blow  on  the  shoulder  giving 
to  him  a  very  dangerous  wound.  In  the  meantime  another  one 
of  the  Indians  was  also  pressing  against  the  door,  and  it  yield- 
ed and  flew  open,  and  then  began  a  scuffle  between  the  Indian 
and  Sallie,  he  attempting  to  take  her  as  his  prisoner.  She  is 
said  to  have  been  a  most  beautiful  woman,  with  long  flowing 
black  hair,  and  it  is  supposed  that  the  Indian  did  not  desire  to 
kill  her,  but  to  capture  her.  She  was  strong  and  athletic  and 
succeeded  in  repeatedly  throwing  the  Indian  to  the  floor,  but 
he  being  in  nearly  a  nude  condition,  she  could  not  hold  him 
down.     In  the  last  struggle  she  discovered  his  butcher  knife 

1775-1794  65 

in  the  sheathe  in  his  belt  and  made  an  attempt  to  get  it,  but 
failing  and  the  Indian  discovering  this,  he  drew  the  knife  and 
stabbed  her  through  the  heart,  and  then  killed  the  mother. 
The  small  child,  Mary  Anne,  had  been  gathered  up  by  the  hired 
girl,  Estridge,  who  had  slipped  into  the  shed  of  the  house,  and 
concealed  herself  in  a  large  trough  made  for  holding  soap. 
The  child  began  to  fret  and  cry  and  the  young  woman  fearing 
that  this  would  disclose  to  the  Indians  her  hiding  place,  let  go 
the  child,  and  it  ran  out  into  the  room,  and  an  Indian  caught 
it  by  its  ankles  and  feet,  and  dashed  out  its  brains  against 
the  door  facing.  The  babe  though  scalped,  was  found  by  the 
father  when  he  reached  the  house  still  alive,  and  trying  to  nurse 
at  the  breast  of  its  dead  mother.  The  Indians  took  the  two 
small  girls,  Elizabeth  and  Margaret,  aged  respectively  eight 
and  ten  years,  prisoners,  and  then  ransacked  the  house,  taking 
a  gourd  filled  with  sugar  and  a  large  loaf  of  bread,  which  had 
just  been  baked  by  the  motlier,  and  departed.  As  soon  as  the 
Indians  left  Miss  Estridge  came  out  from  her  hiding  place,  and 
ran  up  the  river  to  Wolf  Creek,  where  she  met  Mr.  McKensey 
and  his  son  as  hereinbefore  related.  On  this  same  morning 
these  Indians  had  killed  Philip  Kavanah,  and  captured  Fran- 
cis Denny,  a  lad  of  about  fifteen  or  sixteen  years.  The  Indians 
did  not  fire  McKensey's  house  for  the  reason  no  doubt,  that 
the  smoke  would  attract  his  attention  or  that  of  some  of  the 
settlers  in  the  neighborhood,  and  cause  rapid  pursuit  before 
they  had  time  to  get  away  with  their  prisoners  and  booty. 
Leaving  McKensey's  house  they  dropped  down  the  river  a  few 
hundred  yards  to  Perdue's  Mill  branch,  up  which  they  traveled 
to  its  source,  crossing  over  tlie  divide  to  the  house  of  Mathew 
French  at  the  Boyd  place  on  Wolf  Creek.  In  passing  up  Per- 
due's  Mill  branch  the  Indians  took  out  their  bloody  knives  and 
cut  the  loaf  of  bread  offering  a  portion  thereof  to  the  little 
girls,  who  refused  to  take  or  eat  it,  until  finally  an  Indian 
went  to  the  branch  and  washed  the  knife.  When  they  reached 
the  house  of  French  they  found  it  and  the  premises  deserted, 
he,  having  learned  that  the  Indians  were  in  the  neighborhood. 

66  New   River   Settlements 

had  taken  his  family  and  fled  to  the  McComas-Napier-Hall 
Fort,  since  known  as  Fort  Branch,  situated  as  hereinbefore 
described.  Mr.  French  had  left  home  so  hastily  as  to  be  un- 
able to  take  but  little  with  him,  leaving  behind  all  of  his  house- 
hold furniture,  his  horses  cattle  and  other  stock.  The  Indians 
ripped  up  his  feather  beds,  and  scattered  the  feathers,  threw 
down  his  corn  cribs,  and  turned  the  stock  on  his  corn,  killed 
a  horse  and  took  off  his  hide,  in  which  they  carried  away  his 
table  ware,  which  consisted  of  a  few  pewter  plates  and  cups, 
and  probably  some  knives  and  forks  which  becoming  burden- 
some to  carry,  they  buried  beside  a  log  on  East  River  Mountain. 
They  did  not  set  fire  to  French's  house  for  the  same  reason 
that  influenced  them  not  to  fire  McKensey's  house.  On  leaving 
French's  house  they  went  directly  over  East  River  Mountain,  in- 
to what  is  now  Mercer  County  and  dropped  in  at  the  mouth 
of  East  River,  and  thence  down  New  River  by  way  of  the  Blue- 
stone  and  to  Paint  Creek,  Kanawha,  the  Ohio,  and  on  to  their 
towns  in  the  neighborhood  of  Detroit  and  the  Lakes.  The  two 
McKensey  girls  remained  in  captivity  for  a  period  of  eighteen 
years,  and  were  not  ransomed,  and  did  not  return  until  after 
Wayne's  victory  in  1794.  Their  father  made  two  journeys  for 
them,  on  the  first,  he  succeeded  in  getting  one  of  them,  but  had 
to  make  the  second  journey  before  he  succeeded  in  getting  the 
other.  Margaret  was  transferred  by  the  Shawnees  to  the  Del- 
aware tribe.  She  was  adopted  by  the  Indian  Chief  Koothum- 
pum,  and  her  sister  Elizabeth  in  the  family  of  Petasue,  com- 
monly called  "Snake." 

A  few  years  before  Margaret  McKensey  returned  home,  a 
young  Indian  chief  made  love  to  her  and  vehemently  urged 
her  to  consent  to  marry  him,  which  she  peremptorily  refused 
The  young  squaws  frequently  congratulated  her  on  her  fine 
offer.  She  at  last  became  so  annoyed  by  the  solicitation  of  the 
young  chief  that  she  determined  to  escape  to  another  village 
some  seventy  miles  away,  to  which  her  foster  sister  and  brother 
had  removed.  Early  one  morning  she  secured  a  very  fine  horse 
and  mounted  him  and  pushed  off,  making  the  distance  that 

1775-1794  67 

day.  She  complained  to  her  foster  sister  of  the  treatment  she 
had  received,  who  replied,  "I  will  defend  you  with  my  life." 
The  young  chief,  determined  not  to  be  defeated  in  this  way,  im- 
mediately pursued  her  and  reached  the  village  to  which  she 
had  fled,  the  next  day  in  the  afternoon.  He  soon  found  her 
and  told  her  if  she  did  not  immediately  consent  to  become  his 
wife,  he  would  kill  her,  she  refusing,  he  made  a  lunge  at  her 
with  a  long  knife,  but  her  sister  threw  herself  between  them 
and  received  a  slight  wound.  The  girl  instantly  seized  the 
knife  and  wrenching  it  from  his  hand,  broke  the  blade  and 
threw  it  away.  A  furious  fight  ensued  between  the  foster  sis- 
ter and  the  Indian,  the  former  telling  Margaret  to  hide  herself 
which  she  did.  The  young  woman  proved  too  much  for  the  In- 
dian and  gave  him  a  sound  whipping,  thereupon  he  departed 
and  was  soon  afterwards  killed  in  Wayne's  battle  with  the  In- 

Shortly  after  the  return  of  Margaret  and  Elizabeth,  the  for- 
mer married  a  Mr.  Benjamine  Hall,  and  the  latter  Mr.  Jonas 
Clyburn.  Mr.  Clyburn  with  his  family  removed  to  Chicago 
about  the  time  that  that  city  was  being  first  laid  out.  Mr. 
Hall  and  his  wife  lived  to  old  age,  dying  in  Mercer  County  and 
are  buried  near  Princeton.  They  left  numerous  and  highly 
respected  descendants  among  them  Mr.  David  Hall,  a  lawyer 
who  long  practiced  his  profession  in  Mercer  and  adjoining 
counties,  Mr.  Luther  Lybrook  Chambers,  the  present  judge 
of  the  circuit  court  of  Mercer,  McDowell  and  Monroe  counties 
and  who  ia  the  great  grandson  of  the  Margaret  McKensey  cap- 
tured by  the  Indians  in  1778.  Mr.  L.  A.  Dunn  an  influential 
business  man  of  Bluefield  is  also  a  great  grandson  of  Margaret 

In  1778  Josiah  Meadows,  herein  before  referred  to,  who  was 
the  great  great  grandfather  of  Hon.  R.  G.  Meadows  of  Mercer 
County,  marched  with  the  expedition  of  George  Rogers  Clark 
to  the  Illinois  country,  and  then  marched  by  way  of  the  Falls 
of  the  Ohio  to  his  home  in  Bedford  County,  Virginia. 

In  October  of  the  year  of  1778  the  Legislature  of  Virginia 

o8  New  River   Settlements 

created  and  erected  into  the  conntj  of  Illinois  all  the  north- 
west territory,  being  all  the  territory  north  of  the  Ohio,  south 
of  the  Great  Lakes,  and  east  of  the  Mississippi.  The  county 
of  Illinois  continued  as  a  Virginia  County  until  the  Deed  of 
Cession  of  March,  1784. 

Joseph  Hare,  of  North  Carolina,  and  Edward  Hale,  of  Frank- 
lin county,  Virginia,  came  into  the  New  River  settlements  in 
1779,  and  located  about  the  mouth  of  Wolf  Creek.  Both  Hare 
and  Hale  had  been  soldiers  in  the  American  army.  Hare  was 
with  the  patriot  army  at  the  battle  of  Moore's  Creek  Bridge, 
now  near  Fayetteville,  North  Carolina,  fought  on  the  27th  day 
of  February,  177G.  These  two  men  performed  important  ser- 
vices in  the  years  immediately  following  their  settlement,  not 
only  in  the  battles  with  the  Indians,  but  also  in  the  battle  of 
Whitsell's  Mill  and  Guilford  Court  House,  North  Carolina, 
about  which  services  more  will  be  said  hereafter. 

The  upper  New  River  valley,  in  what  is  now  in  part  Bland, 
Wythe,  Grayson  and  Carroll  Counties  in  Virginia  as  well  as 
some  of  the  counties  on  the  North  Carolina  side,  were  among 
the  hiding  places  of  the  Tories,  and  they  made  frequent  upris- 
ings and  had  to  be  repressed.  Some  of  these  uprisings  took 
place  in  the  years  of  1779-80  and  were  suppressed  by  bodies  of 
militia  led  by  Colonel  William  Campbell,  Major  Walter  Crock- 
ett, Major  Joseph  Cloyd  and  Colonel  Benjamin  Cleveland,  the 
latter  of  North  Carolina.  The  old  court  records  now  in  the 
office  of  the  Clerk  of  the  County  Court  of  Montgomery  County, 
Virginia,  abound  with  instances  where  numerous  parties  were 
summoned  before  the  court  on  charges  of  being  engaged  in 
these  uprisings,  and  were  required  to  give  bond  and  good  se- 
curity to  keep  the  peace  and  be  of  good  behavior.  Should  any- 
one be  curious  enough  to  want  the  names  of  these  people  they 
can  find  the  same  by  reference  to  records  referred  to. 

David  Johnston  with  his  family  came  from  the  county  of 
Culpeper,  Virginia,  in  1778,  and  settled  in  the  New  River  val- 
ley on  the  plateau  between  Big  Stony  Creek  and  Little  Stony 
Creek,  about  one  mile  from  the  river,  at  the  place  now  known 

1775-1794  69 

as  the  John  Phlegar  farm  in  the  county  of  Giles.  Johnston's 
family  consisted  of  himself  and  wife,  two  sons,  the  third  son 
being  then  absent  in  the  American  army,  and  five  daughters, 
the  eldest  of  the  daughters,  whose  name  was  Sallie,  and  who 
had  intermarried  with  Thomas  Marshall,  together  with  her 
husband,  came  with  the  family.  David  Johnston  was  the  broth- 
er-in-law of  John  and  Richard  Chapman  who  then  lived  at  the 
mouth  of  Walker's  Creek,  about  two  miles  from  where  Johns- 
ton settled.  The  first  house  built  by  David  Johnston  as  his  new 
dwelling  place,  was  erected  by  him  in  1778  and  is  at  this  writ- 
ing, 1905,  still  standing,  forming  a  part  of  the  Phlegar  mansion 
house.  A  few  years  after  the  coming  of  David  Johnston  his 
brother-in-law,  Elder  James  Abbott,  a  missionary  Baptist  min- 
ister, came.  Johnston  was,  soon  after  making  of  his  settlement, 
appointed  a  constable  for  Montgomery  county.  He  died  in 
1786,  his  wife  in  1813,  and  they  were  both  buried  on  the  Phle- 
gar farm. 

Thomas  Ingles,  a  son  of  the  Captain  William  Ingles,  one  of 
the  Drapers  Meadows  settlers,  and  who  was  captured  and  car- 
ried away  with  his  mother,  bj'  the  Indians,  in  1755,  having  re- 
turned after  thirteen  years,  and  been  sent  to  school  at  Doctor 
Thomas  Walker's  in  Albemarle  County,  Virginia,  from  which 
place  he  went  with  the  army  of  General  Lewis  to  the  battle  of 
Point  Pleasant,  in  which  he  fought  as  a  lieutenant  in  a  com- 
pany belonging  to  Colonel  William  Christian's  regiment  of  Fin- 
castle  men.  After  the  battle  young  Ingles  was  in  one  of  the 
companies  left  to  garrison  the  fort  at  Point  Pleasant  during 
the  winter  following  the  battle.  After  receiving  his  discharge 
from  the  army  in  1775  he  returned  to  Albemarle,  and  married  a 
Miss  Grills.  He  came  back  to  the  New  River  valley.,  and  in  1778 
he  located  and  settled  in  Wright's  Valley,  in  which  the  city  of 
Bluefield,  W^est  Virginia,  is  now  situated,  and  about  two  miles 
west  of  said  city,  at  a  spring  near  the  mansion  house  of  the  late 
Captain  Rufus  A.  Hale.  Here  Mr.  Ingles  remained  some  two 
years,  but  finding  himself  dangerously  near  the  Indian  trail 
leading  from  he  head  of  Tug  of  Sandy  southward  across  East- 

70  New   River   Settlements 

river  Mountain,  to  the  Wolf  Creek  and  Walker's  Creek  settle- 
ments, he  determined  to  seek  a  place  more  remote  from  Indian 
lines  of  travel,  and  thence  removed  to  Burke's  Garden  to  a  tract 
of  land  owned  by  his  father.  He  however  remained  long  enough 
in  Wright's  Valley  to  effect  in  a  measure  a  change  of  name  to 
"English's",  as  appears  from  the  early  land  surveys  and  grants. 
His  stay  in  his  new  home  was  not  long  a  peaceful  one,  for  in 
April,  1782,  while  he  and  a  negro  man  were  engaged  at  farm 
work  some  distance  from  the  house,  a  large  party  of  Indians 
captured  his  wife  and  children  and  two  negro  slaves,  and  after 
plundering  and  firing  the  house,  they  left  the  premises.  Mr. 
Ingles,  discovering  the  smoke  from  his  burning  house,  ap- 
proached near  enough  to  see  that  the  trouble  was  caused  by  In- 
dians, and  that  he  alone  eould  do  nothing,  set  off  in  quest  of 
help,  crossing  the  mountains  southward,  he  fortunately  met  up 
with  a  goodly  number  of  men  assembled  for  muster  and  drill  at 
a  settlement  in  Rich  Valley  on  the  north  fork  of  Holstein.  A 
posse  of  fifteen  or  twenty  men  under  the  leadership  of  Captain 
Maxwell,  to  whose  command  was  added  an  additional  force  of 
five  or  six  men,  whom  John  Hix,  a  neighbor  of  Mr.  Ingles,  had 
gotten  together.  This  party  pursued  the  Indians  and  on  the 
fifth  day  they  were  discovered  in  camp  in  a  gap  of  the 
Sandy  Ridge  which  divides  the  waters  of  the  Sandy  from 
the  Clinch  This  gap  since  that  time,  known  as  Maxwell's 
Gap,  is  a  short  distance  west  of  the  west  end  of  Abb's  Valley, 
and  two  or  three  miles  north-northwest  of  the  residences  of 
the  late  William  G.  Mustard  on  the  north  fork  of  Clinch  River 
in  the  county  of  Tazewell.  Captain  Maxwell  divided  his  com- 
pany, he  taking  a  part,  and  moving  around  their  flank  so  as  to 
get  in  their  front,  while  Mr.  Ingles  remained  with  the  other  por- 
tion of  the  company  in  the  rear,  and  the  attack  to  be  made  at 
daylight  the  next  morning.  Unfortunately  Maxwell,  in  order 
to  escape  detection,  bore  too  far  away  and  was  not  in  position 
to  make  the  attack  at  the  appointed  time.  Mr.  Ingles  after 
waiting  beyond  the  agreed  hour,  and  seeing  the  Indians  begin- 
ning to  stir,  began  the  attack.    As  soon  as  the  first  shot  was 

1775-1794  71 

fired,  some  of  the  Indians  began  to  tomahawk  the  prisoners, 
while  others  fought  and  retreated.  Mr.  Ingles  reached  his  wife 
just  as  she  had  received  a  terrible  blow  on  the  head.  They  had 
already  tomahawked  his  little  daughter  Mary,  five  years  old, 
and  his  son  William,  three  years  old.  The  small  infant  in  the 
arms  of  the  mother  was  unhurt.  In  their  retreat,  the  Indians 
passed  close  to  Captain  Maxwell  and  his  party,  and  firing  on 
them  killed  Captain  Maxwell,  who  was  the  only  one  of  the  pur- 
suers killed.  No  dead  Indians  were  found.  The  little  wounded 
girl  died,  but  the  mother  recovered.  The  above  statements  are 
taken  from  the  Harman  MS.,  which  states  that  Captain  Henry 
Harman  was  with  this  pursuing  party. 

On  September  23,  1779,  Mrs.  Margaret  Pauley  and  her  hus- 
band, John  Pauley,  together  with  James  Pauley,  wife  and  child;, 
Robert  Wallace  and  wife  and  Brice  Miller  set  out  from  the 
Greenbrier  section  to  go  to  Kentucky.  They  crossed  New  River 
at  the  Horse  Ford  near  the  mouth  of  Rich  Creek  and  then  down 
New  River  and  up  East  River,  which  was  the  shortest  route  to 
Cumberland  Gap.  Each  of  the  men  had  his  rifle.  The  women 
on  the  horses,  on  which  were  packed  what  household  plunder 
they  could  carry,  were  in  front,  the  men  in  the  rear  driving  the 
cattle.  About  noon  of  the  day  referred  to,  and  when  the  party 
had  reached  a  point  on  East  River  about  one  mile  below  the 
mouth  of  Five  Mile  Fork  thereof,  supposed  to  have  been  near  the 
upper  end  of  the  old  farm  of  Captain  William  Smith,  they  were 
attacked  by  five  Indians  and  a  white  man  by  the  name  of  Mor- 
gan, who  was  in  company  with  the  Indians.  The  first  intima- 
tion that  the  party  had  of  the  presence  of  the  savages,  was  the 
report  of  the  discharge  of  a  gun.  The  women,  Mrs.  John  and 
James  Pauley,  were  knocked  from  their  horses  by  the  Indians 
with  their  clubs,  Wallace  and  the  two  children  were  killed  and 
scalped,  and  John  Pauley  though  fatally  wounded,  escaped  and 
succeeded  in  reaching  Wood's  Fort  on  Rich  Creek,  where  he 
died  in  a  short  time.  The  Indians  took  Mrs.  John  and  James 
Pauley  prisoners,  and  on  leaving  the  scene  of  their  atrocities, 
went  up  East  River  to  the  mouth  of  the  Five  Mile  Fork,  and 

72  New   River   Settlements 

thence  up  the  same  to  the  head,  across  the  Bluestone  and  on  to 
the  Ohio,  and  to  the  Indian  towns  on  the  Miami.  There  the  two 
women  and  the  little  boy  of  Margaret  Pauley,  born  shortly 
after  she  reached  the  Indian  towns  remained  prisoners  for 
about  two  years.  Finally  Mrs.  James  Pauley  escaped,  and  Mar- 
garet and  her  child  shortly  after  this  were  ransomed.  Mrs. 
Pauley's  maiden  name  was  Han^ley.  .  After  the  return  of  Mar- 
garet Pauley  she  married  a  ^^ll^.Efrskine,  and  by  whom  she 
had  a  daughter  who  married  Hugh  Caperton,  who  became  a  dis- 
tinguished man,  and  who  was  the  father  of  the  late  United 
States  Senator  Allen  T.  Caperton,  of  Monroe  County.  Adam 
Caperton,  the  father  of  the  said  Hugh,  was  killed  in  a  battle 
with  the  Indians  at  Little  Mountain,  or  Estill's  defeat,  near 
where  Mt.  Sterling,  Kentucky,  is  now  situated.  Captain  Estill 
and  six  of  his  men  were  killed,  and  seventeen  of  the  Indians 
were  killed.  This  battle  was  fought  on  the  22nd  day  of  March, 

At  the  date  of  the  attack  on  the  Pauley  party  in  September, 

1779,  no  settlements  had  been  made  along  the  East  River,  in 
fact  none  existed  between  Wood's  Fort  on  Rich  Creek  and  that 
of  Thomas  Ingles  in  Wright's  Valley.  The  route  being  traveled 
by  the  Pauley  party  was  along  the  hunters'  trail  leading  from 
New  River  up  East  River  by  the  site  of  the  present  city  of  Blue- 
field  in  Mercer  County,  and  across  the  Bluestone-Clinch  divide 
to  the  Clinch,  down  the  same  and  on  by  way  of  Powell's  River 
to  Cumberland  Gap.  This  was  the  route  usually  pursued  by 
emigrants  from  the  Greenbrier-New  River  section  to  Kentucky. 

John  Toney  settled  at  the  mouth  of  East  River  in  the  year  of 

1780,  and  gave  to  his  place  the  name  of  Montreal  and  later  when 
the  line  of  the  Norfolk  &  W^estern  Railroad  was  being  con- 
structed, the  contractors  engaged  in  that  part  of  the  work  at 
the  mouth  of  East  River,  or  their  employees  called  it,  ''Hell's 
Gate."    It  is  now  known  as  Glenlyn. 

In  the  year  of  1780,  or  1781  a  family  by  the  name  of  Chris- 
tain  settled  on  the  farm  formerly  owned  by  Mr.  John  L.  Wool- 
wine  on  East  River,  about  two  miles  above  the  mouth  thereof, 

1775-1794  73 

and  it  was  this  family,  or  from  it  that  the  name  ''Christian's 
Kidge,"  was  given  to  the  high  ridge  land  lying  north  of  the 
place  of  the  settlement. 

John  Goolman  Davidson,  an  Irishman,  born  in  Dublin,  Ire- 
land, a  cooper  by  trade,  from  which  he  was  generally  called  and 
known  as  "Cooper  Davidson,"  came  with  his  family  from  that 
part  of  the  Valley  of  Virginia  now  known  as  Rockbridge  Coun- 
ty, and  with  him  came  Richard  Bailey  and  his  family,  from  the 
Blackwater  section,  then  in  Bedford,  now  in  Franklin  County, 
Virginia,  and  settled  in  the  year  of  1780  at  the  Beaver  Pond 
Spring,  a  branch  of  Bluestone,  now  in  Mercer  County.  A  fort 
was  built  which  was  called  and  known  as  the  "Davidson-Bailey 
Fort,"  the  marks  of  the  foundation  of  which  may  yet  be  seen 
near  the  residence  of  Mr.  Harvey  Bailey  just  west  of  the  Beaver 
Pond  Creek.  Both  Davidson  and  Bailey  had  considerable  fam- 
ilies, the  latter  had  eight  sons  and  two  daughters.  Richard 
Bailey  had  been  a  soldier  in  the  American  army.  These  men 
as  well  as  their  sons  and  daughters,  were  a  brave  and  coura- 
geous people,  and  maintained  their  position  on  the  border  at 
the  settlement  they  had  made  from  the  day  they  came  in  1780, 
until  the  close  of  the  Indian  wars  in  1795.  Often  in  battles 
with  the  Indians,  frequently  compelled  to  flee  for  their  lives, 
and  shut  themselves  up  in  their  strong  quarters,  and  finally 
loosing  Mr.  Davidson,  whose  tragic  and  brutal  murder  by  the 
savages  will  be  hereinafter  related.  At  the  time  of  the  settle- 
ment at  Beaver  Pond  Spring  by  Davidson  and  Bailey,  their 
nearest  neighbors,  were  Captain  James  Moore  in  Abb's  Valley, 
some  twelve  miles  away,  Mitchell  Clay  on  Clover  bottom,  about 
the  same  distance,  a  man  by  the  name  of  Compton  on  Clear 
fork  of  Wolf  Creek,  about  eight  miles  away,  and  a  man  by  the 
name  of  Wright  at  a  place  now  called  Springville,  on  the  head 
of  the  Bluestone  about  eight  miles  away. 

The  American  army  under  Washington,  spent  the  winter  of 
1779-80  at  Morristown  New  Jersey,  not  only  suffering  from  se- 
vere cold,  but  even  from  lack  of  food.  The  British  General 
Clinton  was  determined  to  capture  Charleston,  South  Carolina, 

74  New   Kiver   Settlements 

and  to  that  end  toward  the  close  of  the  year  1779,  he  embarked 
from  New  York  with  7,500  men,  leaving  Knyphausen  in  com- 
mand of  the  city  with  a  small  force,  for  Washington  had  sent 
the  bulk  of  his  troops  south,  and  consequently  gave  the  enemy 
little  trouble  in  the  northern  department.  The  British  expedi- 
tion reached  Charleston  near  the  close  of  January,  1780.  Gen- 
eral Benjamin  Lincoln  was  in  command  of  the  Continental 
troops  at  Charleston  and  in  the  vicinity  thereof.  On  May  5th, 
1780,  Fort  Moultrie  was  surrendered  to  the  British,  and  on  the 
12th  of  May,  General  Lincoln  surrendered  the  city  of  Charleston 
and  his  army  numbering  5,000.  to  be  made  prisoners  of  war. 
This  capitulation  on  the  part  of  Lincoln  left  the  entire  south 
virtually  at  the  mercy  of  the  British. 

General  Horatio  Gates  had  been  placed  in  command  of  the 
American  army  in  the  southern  department  and  marched  rap- 
idly southward  until  he  reached  Camden,  South  Carolina, 
where  on  the  16th  of  August  he  met  the  British  army  under 
Lords  Rawdon  and  Cornwallis,  and  a  fierce  conflict  ensued,  in 
which  the  American  army  was  decisively  defeated.  Immediate- 
ly following  organized  resistance  in  the  south,  American 
rule  ended.  General  Gates  made  his  way  to  Charlotte,  North 
Carolina,  where  he  was  superseded  by  General  Nathaniel 
Greene,  one  of  the  best  oflicers  and  fighters  in  the  American 
service.  The  march  of  the  British  army  northward  into  North 
Carolina  not  only  encouraged  the  loyalists  in  the  southern  part 
of  the  state  but  they  became  very  much  emboldened  in  the  north- 
ern and  western  part  of  the  state  as  well  as  in  the  upper  New 
River  region  in  Virginia. 

In  the  latter  part  of  the  summer  or  in  the  early  part  of  the 
autumn  of  1780  there  was  a  general  tory  uprising  in  Surry 
County,  North  Carolina,  which  was  so  formidable  in  its  char- 
acter as  to  alarm  the  friends  of  the  American  cause;  who  not 
only  appealed  to  the  American  patriots  in  North  Carolina,  but 
in  Virginia  as  well,  for  help.  This  was  truly  the  crucial  period 
in  this  great  conflict,  the  American  cause  seeming  to  be  at  its 
lowest  ebb.    The  western  borders  were   harrassed   by   the   In- 

1775-1794  75 

dians.  The  country  north  and  east  of  New  Jersey  was  prac- 
tically in  the  hands  of  the  British.  General  Arnold  had  be- 
trayed the  American  cause  and  agreed  to  surrender  West  Point 
to  the  enemies  of  America.  The  great  body  of  the  American 
army  had  been  decisively  defeated  at  Camden,  The  tories,  the 
friends  of  the  King,  were  in  high  glee  and  everything  looked  as 
if  the  American  cause  was  lost.  But  a  brighter  day  was  near 
at  hand,  and  the  tide  of  affairs  was  to  turn  in  favor  of  the 

Colonel  Martin  Armstrong,  who  was  in  command  of  the  mili- 
tary district  in  and  around  Salem,  North  Carolina,  sent  his 
small  son,  Thomas  T.  Armstrong,  then  but  little  above  twelve 
years  of  age,  with  an  appeal  for  help  to  Major  Joseph  Cloyd, 
whose  residence  was  on  Back  Creek,  now  in  Pulaski  County. 
To  avoid  suspicion,  and  to  prevent  his  son  from  being  inter- 
cepted, knowing  that  he  had  to  pass  the  tory  settlements  to 
reach  Major  Cloyd,  he  dressed  him  in  a  full  tory  suit,  and  the 
manly  and  brave  little  fellow  carried  the  message  safely  to  Ma- 
jor Cloyd  (this  incident  was  related  to  the  author  by  Mrs.  Col- 
onel Napoleon  D.  French,  the  grand-daughter  of  Colonel  Mar- 
tin Armstrong,  and  the  daughter  of  Colonel  Thomas  T.  Arm- 
strong, the  lad  who  carried  the  message.) 

Joseph  Cloyd  was  the  Major  of  the  Montgomery  County  mi- 
litia of  which  William  Preston  was  the  Colonel  and  Command- 
ant. Cloyd  was  directed  to  raise  three  companies  of  horsemen 
forthwith  and  to  proceed  to  Surry  County,  North  Carolina,  and 
to  aid  in  suppressing  the  tories. 

Among  the  companies  detailed  for  this  service,  was  one  com- 
manded by  Captain  George  Pearis,  another  by  Captain  Bryant, 
but  the  author  has  been  unable  to  ascertain  the  name  of  the 
captain  who  commanded  the  remaining  company.  General 
Jethro  Sumner  in  a  letter  to  General  Gates,  dated  Camp  Mc- 
Goon's  Creek,  October  4,  1780,  says,  ''That  he  encloses  a  copy 
of  letter  of  Colonel  William  Preston,  of  Botetourt,  Virginia, 
dated  the  18th  day  of  September,  1780,  stating  that  a  body  of 
horsemen  is  in  that  section  moving  against  the  tories  on   the 

76  New  River  Settlements 

Yadkin,"  General  Sumner  seemed  not  to  have  been  aware  of 
the  presence  of  the  Virginia  troops  in  that  neighborhood,  ex- 
cept through  the  letter  of  Colonel  Preston,  and  a  conversation 
had  by  him  with  Colonel  Armstrong.  In  his  letter  General 
Sumner  refers  to  the  forks  of  the  Yadkin,  and  to  the  Shallow 
ford  thereof,  and  states  that  he  suspects  the  latter  point  to  be 
the  object  of  the  enemy.  This  letter  also  refers  to  a  conversa- 
tion in  which  Colonel  Armstrong  informs  him  of  the  approach 
of  three  troops  of  horsemen  from  Virginia.  General  William 
Small  wood,  writes  to  General  Gates,  (Colonial  records  in  Li- 
brary of  Congress,)  from  Moravian  town,  now  Salem,  under 
date  of  October  16,  1780,  and  states,  *'But  upon  return  of  my 
scouts  last  evening  they  informed  me  that  the  enemy  had  at- 
tempted to  cross  the  Shallow  ford  the  day  before,  14th  day  of 
October,  1780,  but  they  were  attacked  by  Major  Cloyd  with  one 
hundred  and  sixty  of  the  Virginia  and  Carolina  militia,  and 
that  fifteen  of  the  tories  were  found  dead  and  four  wounded.  (1) 
Our  loss  one  captain  killed,  and  four  privates  wounded.  (Evi- 
dently the  captain  was  Pearis,  and  he  only  wounded.) 

Captain  Pearis  received  in  this  battle  a  very  severe  wound  in 
the  shoulder,  which  disabled  him  for  further  military  duty.  In 
this  battle  he  killed  with  his  own  sword,  a  man  by  the  name  of 
Burke,  his  own  cousin,  from  whom  he  took  his  sword  and  this 
with  his  own  sword  together  with  his  uniform  with  the  bullet 
hole  in  the  shoulder  thereof,  were  preserved  in  the  family  until 
the  burning  of  Princeton,  when  the  same  were  destroyed  to- 
gether with  the  house  of  Mrs.  Louisa  A.  Pearis,  where  they 
had  been  left  for  preservation.  These  men  under  Major  Cloyd, 
were  minute  or  emergency  men,  and  were  called  out  for  only 
three  months  service,  and  returned  to  their  homes  about  the 
first  of  January,  1781.  Thomas  Farley,  who  was  a  member  of 
Captain  Pearis'  company,  in  his  sworn  application  made  before 
the  County  Court  of  Giles  County  in  1832,  for  a  pension,  states 
his  enlistment  was  with  Captain  Pearis  on  the  first  of  October, 

(1)  The  tory  army  numbered  310  and  was  commanded  by  Colonel 
Gideon  and  Captain  Hezakiah  Wright. — "Draper's  Heroes  of  King's 
Mountain,  page  483." 

1775-1794  77 

1780,  and  gives  the  details  of  the  march  under  Major  Cloyd  to 
the  Shallow  ford  of  the  Yadkin,  and  of  the  battle  there,  and 
that  his  captain,  Pearls,  was  wounded  in  the  battle  and  that 
he  nursed  him  after  he  was  wounded. 

Captain  Henry  Patton  seems  to  have  succeeded  Pearis  in 
command  of  the  company  which  he  led  to  the  battle  of  the  Shal- 
low ford  of  the  Yadkin. 

General  Cornwallis  with  the  British  was  advancing  into  the 
very  center  of  North  Carolina,  and  he  had  pushed  out  Major 
Patrick  Ferguson,  one  of  his  lieutenants,  toward  the  western 
mountains  of  North  Carolina,  where  he  could  rally  and  get  to- 
gether the  tories  of  that  section.  Ferguson  had  heard  of  the 
"Over-Mountain  or  Backwater  men"  who  occupied  the  territory 
on  the  head  waters  of  the  Holstein,  Clinch  and  the  Watauga, 
and  he  determined  to  bring  them  to  terms  if  possible.  If  they 
would  not  go  to  him  and  surrender,  he  would  march  across  the 
mountain  and  destroy  them.  Ferguson  then  had  in  his  cus 
tody  a  prisoner  by  the  name  of  Samuel  Philips  with  whom  he 
agreed  if  he  would  carry  a  message  from  him  to  Generals  Se- 
viers  and  Shelby,  two  of  the  leaders  of  the  Over-Mountain  men, 
he  would  release  him.  This  message  was,  "that  if  they  did  not 
desist  from  their  opposition  to  the  British  arms,  that  he  would 
hang  their  leaders,  and  lay  their  county  waste  with  fire  and 
sword."  Philips  true  to  his  word  crossed  the  mountains,  and 
delivered  the  message  entrusted  to  him  to  Shelby  at  King's 
Meadows,  now  Bristol,  Virginia.  Shelby  was  not  a  man  to  be 
alarmed  by  such  threats,  conscious  that  the  Over-mountain  or 
Back-water  men  were  an  equal  match  for  Ferguson's  corps. 
Shelby  mounted  his  horse,  and  rode  rapidly  some  forty  miles  to 
the  Nollichucky  in  search  of  John  Sevier,  who  was  not  at  home 
but  at  Jonesboro,  attending  the  horse  races.  Shelby  pushed  on 
until  he  found  him,  and  it  is  said  that  they  went  aside,  and  sat 
down  upon  a  log  and  talked  over  the  situation  fully,  and  de- 
termined that  the  better  plan  was  to  rally  the  Over-mountain 
men  both  in  Virginia  and  North  Carolina,  cross  the  mountains, 
and  destroy  Ferguson  and  his  army. 

78  New   River   Settlements 

By  agreement  between  Shelby  and  Sevier,  the  latter  was  to 
rally  the  men  of  Washington  County,  North  Carolina,  and  the 
former  those  of  Sullivan  County,  and  who  was  also  to  com- 
municate and  interest  Colonel  William  Campbell,  of  Washing- 
ton County,  Virginia.  Sycamore  Ford  on  the  W^atauga,  about 
three  miles  below  the  present  town  of  Elizabeth  town,  was 
agreed  upon  as  the  place,  and  the  25th  of  September  as  the  time 
for  the  rendezvous  of  these  troops.  Having  succeeded  in  get- 
ting together  one  thousand  men,  they  assembled  as  agreed  upon 
at  the  time  and  place. 

This  was  the  most  remarkable  gathering  of  Backwoodsmen 
that  had  ever  occurred  on  the  western  border.  Here  was  a  body 
of  men  living  as  it  were,  beyond  the  confines  of  civilization, 
without  law,  being  a  law  unto  themselves,  about  to  enter  into 
a  great  campaign,  and  fight  a  great  battle,  not  for  revenge, 
plunder  or  booty,  impelled  only  by  their  patriotism.  No  execu- 
tive authority  had  commanded  them  to  assemble,  they  simply 
obeyed  the  commands  of  their  local  officers.  They  marched  rap- 
idly across  the  mountains,  passing  through  Gillespie's  gap  in 
Blue  Ridge,  and  on  to  the  waters  flowing  south  and  eastward ; 
and  on  the  seventh  day  of  October  attacked  the  British  forces 
under  Ferguson  at  King's  Mountain,  in  South  Carolina,  and 
won  in  less  than  an  hour,  a  most  decisive  victory,  which  gave 
cheer  and  encouragement  to  the  American  cause,  and  made  pa- 
triotic hearts  throughout  the  land  leap  for  joy.  This  was  the 
turning  point  in  the  American  revolution.  These  incidents  are 
embodied  herein  because  a  part  of  the  men  who  fought  this  bat- 
tle on  the  American  side  were  Montgomery  County  men,  from 
the  headwaters  of  the  Bluestone  and  the  Clinch.  Montgomery 
County  at  that  time  reached  westward  to  the  west  end  of  Mor- 
ris' Knob,  some  eight  miles  beyond  the  present  Court  House  of 
Tazewell  County. 

Captain  James  Moore,  from  Abb's  Valley,  the  Peery's  and 
others  from  the  upper  waters  of  the  Clinch,  went  with  Lieuten- 
ant Reece  Bowen's  company,  which  belonged  to  CampbelFs 
Washington  County  regiment.    Moore  was  a  lieutenant  in  Bow- 

1775-1794  79 

en's  company,  and  when  entering  into  the  battle,  hearing  the 
British  bugle  sound  charge,  directed  his  men  to  dismount  and 
give  it  to  them  Indian  fashion — that  is,  take  trees. 

The  Americans  in  this  battle  captured  more  than  six  hun- 
dred prisoners,  and  brought  them  across  the  mountains.  Gen- 
eral Gates,  on  October  17,  1780,  wrote  Colonel  William  Preston 
to  prepare  a  stockade  at  Fort  Chiswell  in  which  to  confine 
these  prisoners,  but  Colonel  Preston  replied,  "that  it  was  not  a 
safe  place;  that  Montgomery  County  contained  more  tories 
than  any  other  county  in  Virginia."  A  full,  complete  and  con- 
nected history  of  the  battle  of  King's  Mountain,  will  be  found 
in  Draper's  "Heroes  of  King's  Mountain." 

On  the  17th  day  of  January,  1781,  was  fought  the  battle  of 
the  Cowpens,  in  which  General  Morgan  defeated  the  British  un- 
der Tarleton,  the  latter  being  utterly  routed  and  pursued  for 
twenty  miles.  The  American  loss  was  but  seventy -two  killed 
and  wounded,  while  that  of  the  British  was  more  than  three 
hundred,  with  five  hundred  prisoners,  and  an  immense  amount 
of  supplies.  This  victory  was  a  crushing  one,  and  caused  con- 
siderable consternation  in  the  camp  of  Cornwallis,  when  the 
news  reached  him.  Morgan  crossed  the  Broad  River  with  his 
prisoners,  intending  to  make  his  way  to  Virginia;  Cornwallis 
in  the  meantime  started  out  in  pursuit.  He  was  confident  of 
heading  off  the  patriot  army  at  the  fords  of  the  Catawba,  but 
reached  there  two  hours  after  Morgan  had  crossed.  It  was  late 
in  the  afternoon  when  he  reached  the  river,  and  he  waited  until 
morning  to  find  that  the  fox  had  gone.  A  heavy  rain  had  fallen? 
and  so  raised  the  stream  as  to  prevent  the  British  commander 
from  crossing  for  several  hours,  during  which  Morgan  marched 
rapidly,  reached  and  crossed  the  Yadkin,  where  General  Greene 
joined  him,  and  left  his  troops  at  Cheraw  under  the  command  of 
General  Huger.  Greene  having  learned  from  Morgan  that  Corn- 
wallis was  in  pursuit,  he  sent  orders  to  Huger  to  unite  with 
Morgan  at  Salisbury  or  Charlotte.  General  Greene  was  mak- 
ing for  Virginia,  and  Cornwallis  chased  him  for  two  hundred 
miles.     The  pursuer  had  been  held  several  hours  at  the  Ca- 

80  New  River   Settlements 

tawba,  but  crossing  at  last  he  renewed  the  chase  after  Morgan, 
and  reached  the  bank  of  the  Yadkin  February  3rd,  as  the  Amer- 
cans  on  the  opposite  side  were  forming  in  line  to  continue  the 
march.  The  Yadkin  was  rising  rapidly,  but  the  impatient  Corn- 
wallis  had  to  linger  until  the  next  day  while  the  Amer- 
cans  leisurely  marched  off  unmolested.  They  were  joined  at 
Guilford  Court  House  by  the  troops  from  the  Pedee,  but  being 
far  inferior  to  their  pursuers  in  number,  they  continued  their 
retreat  to  the  Dan,  which  was  already  rising,  and  on  the  13th 
of  February  they  crossed  and  entered  Halifax  County,  Vir- 
ginia. When  Cornwallis  came  again  in  view,  he  found  himself 
again  stopped  by  high  water.  This  turn  of  affairs  disgusted 
him,  and  he  wheeled  about  and  marched  back  to  Hillsboro, 
where  he  made  his  headquarters.  General  Greene  rested  and 
recruited  his  army,  which  now  aggregated  about  five  thousand 
men,  and  he  determined  to  join  battle  with  Cornwallis. 

Before  proceeding  to  relate  the  movements  of  the  military  in 
the  New  River  Valley,  the  names  of  some  of  the  settlers  who 
came  into  the  valley  in  1780  will  be  mentioned.  William  Wil- 
burn  and  David  Hughes  from  North  Carolina,  and  John  and 
Benjamin  White  from  Amherst  County,  Virginia,  settled  on 
Sugar  Run  in  1780,  and  a  little  later,  probably  in  the  autumn 
of  1781,  came  William  Tracy  Sarver,  James  Rowe  and  others 
from  North  Carolina,  who  settled  in  Wolf  Creek  valley. 
These  men  had  gone  from  Culpeper  County  to  the  Hawe 
Patch  in  North  Carolina,  where  it  apears  they  joined  them- 
selves unto  the  King's  men,  and  in  Pyles'  defeat  on  the  Haw,  on 
the  25th  of  February,  1781,  James  Rowe  received  from  one  of 
Lee's  Legion  a  sabre  wound  which  made  him  lame  the  rest  of 
his  days.  The  David  Hughes  referred  to  was  also  a  Loyalist, 
and  to  escape  military  service  in  the  American  army  hid  him- 
self in  the  wilds  of  the  flatwoods  about  the  head  of  Pipestem 
Creek,  and  on  the  waters  of  the  Bluestone  and  Guyandotte.  A 
high  knob  situated  about  seven  miles  northeast  of  Athens  in 
Mercer  County,  is  still  called  "Dave's  Knob,"  from  this  man 
David  Hughes,  who  had  a  hiding   place   on   the   top   thereof. 

1775-1794  81 

Hughes  was  a  giant  in  size  and  strength  and  on  one  of  his  ex- 
peditions he  caught  a  cub  bear  which  by  its  outcries,  brought 
its  mother  which  fiercely  attacked  Hughes,  seizing  him  by  the 
left  arm.  He  succeeded  in  dispatching  the  bear  by  striking  it 
with  his  fist  in  the  ribs.  It  may  here  be  added  that  the  New 
River  valley  received  a  large  number  of  inhabitants  in  the  years 
of  1775-1782  from  North  Carolina,  a  large  part  of  whom  were 
tories,  but  from  whom  have  descended  a  large  number  of  highly 
honored  and  respectable  people. 

Cornwallis'  march  into  upper  Carolina  had  greatly  alarmed 
the  Virginians  and  General  Greene  wrote  letters  to  Governor 
Jefferson  and  to  the  various  commanders  of  detached  bodies  of 
troops  in  Virginia  asking  help,  and  among  those  to  whom  he 
addressed  his  urgent  appeals  were  Preston,  Sevier,  Shelby  and 
Campbell.  Colonel  William  Preston  on  February  10,  1781,  or- 
dered the  militia  of  Montgomery  County  to  assemble  at  the 
Lead  Mines,  and  on  the  day  appointed  three  hundred  and  fifty 
men  assembled  pursuant  to  the  order  of  their  commander.  Ma- 
jor Joseph  Cloyd,  assembled  and  led  the  Middle  New  River 
men.  It  is  to  be  regretted  that  the  names  of  the  men  who  went 
with  Preston  and  Cloyd  have  not  been  preserved.  One  com- 
pany went  from  the  Middle  New  River  valley,  which  was  com- 
manded by  Captain  Thomas  Shannon,  of  Walker's  Creek,  and 
one  of  his  lieutenants  was  Alexander  Marrs.  A  few  names  only 
of  the  privates  who  went  along  have  been  secured.  They  were 
Matthew  French,  John  French,  Edward  Hale,  Joseph  Hare, 
Isaac  Cole  and  Thomas  Farley. 

Preston  began  his  march  on  the  18th  day  of  February  and 
reported  to  General  Greene  on  the  28th  day  of  that  month,  who 
assigned  him  to  the  command  of  General  Andrew  Pickens.  On 
his  way  to  report  to  Pickens  he  seems  to  have  gotten  between 
the  American  and  British  outposts,  and  camped  for  the  night 
in  close  proximity  to  the  British  without  knowing  that  they 
were  near  him. 

On  the  second  day  of  March,  1781,  Lee's  Legion  and  Pres- 
ton's men  had  a  spirited  encounter  with  Tarleton,  which  Gen- 

82  New  Rivee  Settlbmhnts 

eral  Greene  in  a  dispatch  to  General  Washington  thus  notices : 
"On  the  Second,  Lieutenant  Colonel  Lee  with  a  detachment  of 
riflemen  attacked  the  advance  of  the  British  army  under  Tarle- 
ton  and  killed  and  wounded  thirty  of  them." 

On  the  sixth  of  March  at  Whitsell's  (Wetzell'smill)  ,  North 
Carolina,  Williams'  men,  Pickens  and  his  command,  including 
Lee's  Legion  and  Preston's  Backwoodsmen,  met  the  British 
and  a  severe  engagement  took  place.  The  Americans  were  com- 
pelled to  retreat,  and  Preston's  horse  took  fright  and  ran 
through  a  mill  pond  near  the  British,  threw  Preston  off  and 
escaped  into  the  British  lines.  Colonel  Preston,  being  quite  a 
fleshy  man,  found  it  diflScult  to  keep  up  with  the  retreating 
army,  and  Major  Cloyd  seeing  his  condition  dismounted  and 
gave  Preston  his  horse.  On  the  eve  of  going  into  this  battle  John 
French,  son  of  Matthew,  and  a  member  of  Captain  Shannon's 
company,  was  detailed  as  one  of  the  guards  to  the  wagon  train. 
So  soon  as  the  firing  began  at  the  creek  French  left  the  train 
without  orders — in  fact  against  orders — and  went  to  the  fight, 
joined  therein  and  shot  one  of  the  enemy.  The  ofBcer  in  charge 
of  the  wagon  train  reported  him  for  disobedience  of  orders,  and 
demanded  that  he  be  court  martialed.  Major  Cloyd  remarked 
that  as  French  ran  not  from  the  fight,  but  towards  it,  if  they 
court  martialed  him  for  such  a  cause,  he  would  never  again 
draw  his  sword  in  behalf  of  the  country. 

The  Americans  continued  their  retreat  to  Guilford  Court 
House,  where  the  main  body  of  Greene's  army  had  assembled 
to  fight  Cornwallis.  In  the  meantime.  Colonel  William  Camp- 
bell with  about  sixty  men  had  joined  General  Greene,  and  Pres- 
ton's Montgomery  men  were  placed  under  his,  Campbell's,  com- 
mand on  the  extreme  left  of  Greene's  army.  Colonel  Tarleton 
says,  in  his  Southern  Campaigns  pp  241,  "That  in  the  battle  of 
Guilford  Court  House  he  held  the  right  of  the  British  army 
and  that  his  troops  were  badly  hurt  by  the  Backwoodsmen  from 
Virginia,  that  they  stood  behind  a  fence  until  the  British  In- 
fantry with  their  bayonets  climbed  over  the  same."  The  Ameri- 
cans were  defeated  in  this  battle,  and  there  were  some  critic- 

1775-1794  83 

ivsms  as  to  the  behavior  of  these  Backwoodsmen  or  militia,  and 
Colonel  Preston  in  a  letter  to  Governor  Jefferson,  written  on 
the  10th  of  April,  1781,  complaining  of  this  criticism,  and  the 
injustice  to  his  men,  says,  "that  part  of  the  men  were  in  one 
action  and  all  of  the  men  were  in  two  actions."  Judge  Schenk, 
in  his  "North  Carolina  1780-81,"  credits  Colonel  Martin  Arm- 
strong with  leading  a  body  of  Surry  County  men  in  the  battle 
of  Guilford  Court  House. 

After  the  close  of  this  battle  the  militia  returned  to  their 
homes,  which  were  then  threatened  by  Indian  incursions,  their 
services  being  badly  needed  along  the  frontier  to  suppress  the 
Indian  forays  and  outrages. 

To  the  battle  of  Yorktown,  fought  in  October,  1781,  went 
Trigg's  Battalion  of  artillery  composed  largely  of  New  Eiver 
Valley  men. 

The  outrages  commited  by  the  Indians  upon  the  family  of 
Thomas  Ingles  in  Burke's  Garden  in  April,  1782,  greatly 
alarmed  the  settlers  along  the  more  exposed  portions  of  the 
border,  and  they  pleaded  for  protection.  The  consternation 
produced  along  the  frontiers  from  Powell's  Valley  to  New 
River  was  so  great  that  the  Governor  of  Virginia  directed  Col- 
onel William  Preston  to  assemble  the  field  officers  of  Mont- 
gomery and  Washington  Counties  at  Lead  Mines  at  once  to  de- 
vise ways  and  means  to  protect  the  settlers  from  Indian  depre- 
dations. The  meeting  of  these  officers  took  place  on  the  6th  day 
of  July,  1782.  In  the  meantime  Colonel  Preston  had  ordered 
Major  Joseph  Cloyd  to  call  out  the  militia,  and  to  station  them 
at  David  Doak's  Mill.  The  field  officers  present  at  the  July 
meeting  from  Montgomery  County  were  William  Preston, 
Daniel  Trigg,  Walter  Crockett,  John  Taylor,  Joseph  Cloyd  and 
Abraham  Trigg;  from  Washington  County,  Arthur  Campbell, 
Aaron  Lewis,  William  Edmiston,  James  Dysart  and  Major 
Patrick  Lockhart,  District  Commissioner.  The  board  of  offi- 
cers decided  that  two  hundred  men  should  be  drawn  out  for 
the  defense  of  the  frontiers,  to  be  disposed  of  into  the  following 
districts  in  Montgomery  County,  namely,  "on  New  River  in  the 

84  New  River   Settlements 

neighborhood  of  Captain  Pearis  30  men,  Sugar  Run  20,  Cap- 
tain Moore's  head  of  Bluestone  25,  head  of  Clinch  25.  In 
Washington,  at  Richlands  20,  Castle  woods  30,  Rye  Cove  20, 
Powell's  Valley  30  men.  The  distances  from  Captain  Pearis'  to 
Sugar  Run  10  miles,  to  Captain  Moore's,  head  of  Bluestone  30, 
to  Captain  Maxwell's,  head  of  Clinch  16,  which  is  nearest  the 
Washington  line,  to  Richlands  24,  to  Castlewood's  30,  to  Rye 
Cove  28,  to  Powell's  Valley  Fort  26  miles,  in  all  164  miles." 

Upon  the  surrender  of  Lord  Cornwallis  at  Yorktown,  in  Oc- 
tober, 1781,  the  war  was  regarded  at  an  end.  Many  of  the  mili- 
tia men  of  Virginia  and  swarms  of  other  people  soon  thereafter, 
came  over  the  Alleghanies,  seeking  homes,  and  with  them  for 
the  same  purpose,  came  some  of  the  French-  and  British  sol 
diers.  Vast  throngs  went  to  Kentucky.  Among  those  who 
came  in  the  years  of  1782-3-4  and  5,  and  located  in  the  New 
River  Valley,  and  who  had  been  soldiers  in  the  American  army, 
were  John  Peters,  Christian  Peters,  Charles  Walker,  Isaac 
Smith  and  Larkin  Stowers,  and  a  little  later  came  Josiah 
Meadows,  Jacob  Meadows,  James  Emmons,  Charles  Duncan, 
John  Kirk,  Peter  Dingess  and  Tollison  Shuemate.  The  Peters, 
Stowers,  Walker,  Jacob  Meadows  and  Smith  came  from  Rock- 
ingham County,  Virginia,  Peter  Dingess,  from  Botetourt  Coun- 
ty, Josiah  Meadows  from  Bedford,  James  Emmons  and  Charles 
Duncan  from  Stokes  County,  North  Carolina,  John  and  Thos. 
Kirk,  and  Tollison  Shuemate  from  Fauquier  County,  Virginia. 
Duncan  and  Emmons  had  first  removed  from  Fauquier  County 
to  Stokes  County,  North  Carolina.  John  Peters  and  his  brother 
Christian  came  in  1783,  the  former  located  on  the  New  River 
on  the  farm  on  which  Mr.  Charles  D.  French  now  resides,  and 
the  latter  settled  on  Rich  Creek,  where  the  village  of  Peters- 
town  is  now  situated,  and  he  gave  name  to  that  village.  Chas 
Walker  settled  on  New  River,  opposite  the  mouth  of  Wolf 

Conner,  Link  and  Lugar,  who  were  Hessians — Germans — and 
who  had  belonged  to  the  British  army,  came  during  one  of  the 
years  referred  to.     John  Conner   was  a   courier   or    dispatch 

1775-1794  85 

bearer  for  Colonel  Tarleton,  the  British  commander  on  the  bat- 
tlefield of  the  Cowpens,  and  had  been  sent  with  a  message,  be- 
came intoxicated  on  the  way,  failed  to  deliver  the  message,  was 
court  martialed  and  sentenced  to  receive,  and  did  receive  one 
hundred  lashes,  save  one,  on  his  bare  back,  lived,  but  fainted 
under  the  operation,  though  he  had  been  heavily  dosed  with 
liquor  and  powder  mixed.  This  whipping  caused  him  to  let  the 
hated  British  do  their  own  fighting  thereafter,  and  thereupon 
he  deserted  to  the  Americans. 

Three  or  four  Hessian  regiments  were  surrendered  as  pris- 
oners of  war  by  Cornwallis  at  Yorktown,  and  for  safe  keeping 
were  sent  into  the  valley  of  Virginia.  Finding  there  a  people 
who  had  come  from  their  own  country,  spoke  their  own  tongue 
and  living  in  a  goodly  land,  they  settled  down  and  became  citi- 
zens of  the  country. 

The  influx  of  population  of  the  New  River  Valley,  came  prin- 
cipally from  four  directions,  viz :  the  Virginia  valley,  Piedmont, 
Virginia,  the  upper  waters  of  the  James  and  Roanoke  Rivers  or 
their  tributaries,  and  from  North  Carolina.  From  the  valley 
came  the  Peters,  Walkers,  Stowers,  Smiths;  from  the  Pied- 
mont, Virginia,  the  Chapmans,  Johnstons,  McKensey,  Lyttles, 
Garrisons,  Kirks,  Emmons,  Duncans  and  Shuemates;  from  the 
waters  of  the  James  and  Roanoke  Rivers,  the  Clays,  Baileys, 
Belchers,  Shannons  and  Whites;  from  North  Carolina,  the 
Harmans,  Wilburns,  Hughes  and  Hagers. 

It  has  already  been  stated  that  Captain  George  Pearls  set- 
tled on  the  New  River,  where  Pearisburg  station  on  the  line  of 
the  Norfolk  &  Western  Railway  is  now  situated,  in  the  Spring 
ofl782,  (l)He  purchased  a  tract  of  land  (204  acres)  of  Cap- 
tain William  Ingles  for  sevelnty  pounds  sterling.  It  is  altogeth- 
er probable  that  Mrs.  Ingels  had  observed  these  lands  on  her 
way  up  New  River  in  November,  1755,  after  her  escape  from  the 
Indians,  and  had  given  information  thereof  to  her  husband,  who 
in  1780  entered  and  surveyed  this  204  acre  tract,  as  well,  also, 

(1)     George   Pearis   opened   the   first   store   in   what   is   now   Giles 

86  New  River  Settlements 

the  Chapman  I.  Johnston  home  tract,  and  the  tract  on  which 
Chas.  D.  French  resides. 

It  has  been  noted  that  Mitchell  Clay  and  family  settled  on 
the  Bluestone  at  Clover  bottom  in  the  year  of  1775,  where  he 
opened  up  a  considerable  farm.  From  the  date  of  his  settle- 
ment to  near  the  autumn  of  1783  he  had  not  been  molested  by 
the  savages,  as  he  seems  to  have  lived  off  their  lines  of  travel, 
but  his  peace  was  not  long  to  continue. 

In  the  month  of  August,  1783,  after  Clay  had  harvested  his 
crop  of  small  grain,  and  desiring  to  get  the  benefit  of  the  pas- 
tures for  his  cattle  off  the  ground  on  which  his  crop  had  grown, 
he  placed  two  of  his  sons,  Bartley  and  Ezekiel,  to  build  a  fence 
around  the  stacks  of  grain,  while  he  went  out  in  the  search  of 
game.  His  older  sons  seem  to  have  been  away  from  home.  It 
was  in  the  afternoon,  while  these  two  young  men  were  engaged 
at  their  work,  and  the  older  daughter  with  some  of  the  younger 
girls  were  at  the  river  washing,  that  a  marauding  party  of 
eleven  Indians  crept  up  to  the  edge  of  the  field  and  shot  Bart- 
ley dead.  The  discharge  of  the  gun  alarmed  the  girls  at  the 
river,  and  they  started  on  a  run  for  the  house,  the  pathway 
leading  directly  by  where  Bartley  had  been  killed.  An  Indian 
attempted  to  scalp  the  young  man,  and  at  the  same  time  to  cap- 
ture the  older  girl  Tabitha,  who  undertook  to  defend  the  body 
of  her  dead  brother,  and  prevent  his  being  scalped,  and  in  the 
struggle  with  the  Indian,  she  reached  for  his  butcher  knife, 
which  hung  in  his  belt  and  missing  it,  the  Indian  drew  it  and 
stabbed  her  repeatedly,  she  however,  several  times  wringing  the 
knife  from  his  hand  cast  it  aside,  but  he  each  time  recovering  it 
continued  cutting  her  with  the  knife,  and  stabbing  her  until  he 
had  literally  chopped  her  to  pieces  before  killing  her.  The 
small  girls  during  the  melee,  had  escaped  to  the  house,  and  the 
brother  Ezekiel,  a  lad  of  some  sixteen  years  had  been  captured 
by  another  Indian.  The  house  of  Mitchell  Clay  stood  on  a  high 
point,  or  knoll  about  three  hundred  yards  nearly  due  west, 
from  the  dwelling  house  now  owned  and  occupied  by  Mr.  Daniel 
Day.    The  old  chimney,  or  rather  the  foundation  stones  of  the 

1775-1794  87 

chimney  of  the  Clay  cabin  can  still  be  seen.    About  the  time  the 
attack  was  made  by  the  Indian,  a  man  by  the  name  of  Liggon 
Blankenship  called  at  Clay's  cabin,  and  when  Mrs.  Clay  discov- 
ered her   daughter   in  the   struggle   with  the   Indian,   begged 
Blankenship  to  go  and  shoot  the  Indian  and  save  her  child,  in- 
stead thereof  he  took  to  his  heels  and  ran  to  the  New  River  set- 
tlements and  reported  that  Clay  and  all  of  his  family  had  been 
killed  by  the  Indians.    This  cowardly  behavior  of  Blankenship 
has  been  handed  down  from  generation  to  generation  and  per- 
haps will  be  to  the  end  of  time.    The  Indians,  after  securing 
the  scalp  of  the  young  man  Bartley,  and  his  sister  Tabitha,  with 
their  prisoner  Ezekiel,  left  the  scene.    So  soon  as  Mrs.  Clay  as- 
certained that  the  Indians  had  departed,  she  took  her  children 
and  carried  the  bodies  of  the  dead  ones  to  the  house  and  plac- 
ing them  on  a  bed,  left  the  cabin  with  her  children  and  made 
her  way  through  the  wild  woods  six  miles  to  the  house  of  Mr. 
James  Bailey  (son  of  Richard,  of  Beaver  Pond)  who  lived  at  a 
place  on  Brush  Creek  waters  about  three   fourths   of   a  mile 
northwest  from  where  New  Hope  Church  now  stands,  and  who 
had  settled  there  in  1782,  and  was  then  Clay's  nearest  neighbor. 
Mr.  Clay,  the  father,  on  his  hunting  expedition  had  wounded  a 
deer  and  followed  it  until  nearly  dark,  then  retraced  his  steps 
home,  littl  e  dreaming  of  the  horrors  that  had  been  enacted 
there  in  his  absence.    When  he  reached  the  house  he  soon  dis- 
covered from  the  dead  bodies  of  his   children   and   other  evi- 
dence what  had  happened,  and  supposing  that  all  of  his  family 
had  been  killed  or  were  captives,  he  immediately  left  the  cabin 
for  the  New  River  settlements,  following  a  blind  path  which 
led  from  his  place  to  New  River  at  the  mouth  of  East  River.     On 
his  way  during  the  night  he  discovered  that  the  Indians  were 
in  his  rear,  following  him,  and  he  left  the  path  in  order  to  evade 
them.    He  reached  the  settlements  early  in  the  morning,  fol- 
lowed closely  by  the  Indians  who  stole  a  number  of  horses  and 
immediately  began  their  retreat  to  the  Ohio.    Information  was 
immediately   conveyed  to  the   various   neighborhoods,    and   a 
party  of  men   under  Captain   Matthew   Farley,   among   them 

88  New   River   Settlements 

Charles  Clay,  Mitchell,  Jr.,  James  Bailey,  William  Wiley,  Ed- 
ward Hale,  Isaac  Cole,  Joseph  Hare,  John  French  and  Captain 
James  Moore,  went  to  the  Clay  cabin  and  buried  the  bodies  of 
Bartley  and  Tabitha.  The  pursuit  then  began.  The  Indians 
taking  the  old  Indian  trail  from  the  Bluestone  across  Flat  Top 
Mountain,  and  down  the  divide  between  Guyandotte  and  Coal 
river  waters  along  the  top  of  Cherry  Pound  Mountain,  where 
the  trail  seperated,  one  branch  thereof  continuing  down  the 
west  fork  of  the  Coal  River,  and  the  other  down  the  Pond  fork 
of  the  same.  When  the  whites  reached  the  forks  of  this  path 
or  trail,  they  discovered  that  the  tracks  of  the  horses,  which  the 
Indians  had  stolen,  led  down  the  Pond  fork,  and  not  suspect- 
ing that  some  of  the  Indian  party  had  gone  down  the  west  fork, 
they  followed  the  tracks  of  the  horses.  It  was  late  in  the  eve- 
ning when  they  reached  a  point  near  the  mouth  of  Pond  fork, 
and  discovered  smoke  from  fires  started  by  the  Indians  where 
they  had  camped,  and  heard  the  shrill  whistle  of  a  fife.  The 
party  halted  in  order  to  confer  as  to  the  best  method  of  attack. 
They  decided  to  divide  their  party  so  as  to  place  a  portion  of 
them  below  the  Indians,  and  to  attack  at  daylight  the  next 
morning,  and  to  make  this  attack  from  above  and  below  at  the 
same  time.  The  party  crept  as  close  up  to  where  the  Indians 
encamped  as  they  thought  safe  to  prevent  discovery.  All  was 
quiet  during  the  night,  but  just  at  the  break  of  day,  a  large  In- 
dian arose  from  his  bed  and  walked  out  a  short  distance,  and 
approaching  Edward  Hale,  by  whom  he  was  shot  and  killed, 
and  thereupon  the  attack  began. 

Two  of  the  Indians  were  killed  outright,  and  one  that  was 
wounded  attempted  to  escape  to  the  hill,  and  in  his  broken 
English  begged  for  his  life,  but  Charles  Clay,  whose  brother 
and  sister  had  just  been  killed  by  them,  and  another  brother  in 
captivity,  refused  him  quarter  and  killed  him  on  the  spot.  The 
remaining  Indians  fled  down  the  river. 

Mitchell  Clay,  Jr.,  was  then  quite  a  boy,  and  when  the  attack 
began  one  large  Indian  rushed  down  toward  him.  Young  Clay 
had  a  large  rifle  gun,  much  too  heavy  for  a  boy  of  his  size  to 

1775-1794  89 

handle,  and  firing  at  the  Indian  he  missed  him.  The  Indian 
wheeled,  and  attempted  to  run  off,  but  was  killed  by  another  of 
the  party. 

The  place  where  this  fight  occurred  is  in  the  now  county  of 
Boone,  at  the  head  of  a  little  bottom  on  the  Pond  fork,  on  west 
side  thereof,  about  one-half  mile  above  the  junction  of  the  Pond 
with  the  West  fork  of  Coal  Kiver,  and  on  the  farm  formerly 
owned  by  the  late  Mr.  L.  D.  Coon,  who  a  few  years  ago  in  plow- 
ing near  the  base  of  the  hill  where  the  fight  took  place,  found  an 
Indian  hatchet,  which  he  gave  to  the  author,  and  which  he  now 
has  in  his  possession.  The  spot  where  this  battle  wag  fought  is 
well  marked  by  a  large  pile  of  heavy  stones,  carried  by  the  Indi- 
ans from  the  adjacent  mountain  side,  and  piled  over  the  bodies 
of  their  dead  comrades.  The  white  people  recovered  their  horses, 
but  not  Ezekiel  Clay,  who  was  carried  by  the  hunting  party  of 
Indians  that  went  down  the  West  Fork,  and  with  this  party  the 
whites  failed  to  come  into  contact.  They  took  this  unfortunate 
boy  to  their  town  at  Chillicothe,  and  burned  him  at  the  stake. 
Both  Edward  Hale  and  William  Wiley  took  from  the  backs  of 
the  two  dead  Indians  strips  of  their  hides,  which  they  convert- 
ed into  razor  straps  and  which  remained  in  their  families  for 
many  years,  as  souvenirs  of  the  battle. 

Mitchell  Clay  and  his  family  removed  to  New  River,  and  pur- 
chased from  the  executors  of  Captain  William  Ingles  a  part  of 
the  farm  which  is  now  owned  by  J.  Raleigh  Johnston,  Esq., 
across  the  river  from  the  Norfolk  &  Western  Railway  station 
at  Pearisburg,  Virginia,  and  Clay  built  his  house  on  very 
nearly  the  same  spot  on  which  Mr.  Johnston's  house  now 
stands.  This  Clay  house  was  removed  several  years  ago  to  a 
point  on  the  same  farm,  about  one-half  mile  north  of  where  it 
originally  stood.  It  still  remains,  and  in  the  logs  may  yet  be 
seen  the  port  holes.  A  photograph  of  this  house  built  in  1783, 
as  it  now  appears  will  be  inserted  in  the  appendix  to  this  work. 

Mr.  Clay  and  his  wife,  whose  maiden  name  was  Phoebe  Bel- 
cher of  Bedford,  later  Franklin  County,  Virginia,  had  fourteen 
children.    His  sons  were  Henry,  Charles,  Mitchell,  David,  Wil- 

90  New  Kivee  Settlements 

liam,  Bartley,  and  Ezekiel;  his  daughters  Tabitha,  Rebecca, 
who  married  Colonel  George  Pearis,  Patience,  who  married 
George  Chapman,  Sallie,  who  married  Captain  John  Peters, 
Obedience,  who  married  John  French,  Nannie,  who  married 
Joseph  Hare,  Mary,  who  married  William  Stewart,  and  whose 
descendants,  now  compose  a  large  part  of  the  population  of 
Wyoming  County,  West  Virginia.  Mitchell  Clay  died  on  his 
New  River  farm  in  1812,  having  sold  his  Clover  bottom  tract  to 
Hugh  Innes  and  to  his  son-in-law.  Colonel  Pearls.  The  facts 
and  circumstances  connected  with  this  Clay  tragedy  and  the 
battle  fought  with  the  Indians  on  Coal  River  is  taken  from  the 
Clay  MSS.,  written  out  by  Mitchell  C.  and  John  Clay,  grand- 
sons of  the  said  Mitchell. 

In  1783  Captain  George  Pearls  being  out  on  his  farm  with 
his  rifle  and  near  the  lower  point  of  the  island  just  north  of 
his  house  discovered  an  Indian  standing  on  the  high  cliff  of 
rocks  opposite  the  lower  point  of  said  island.  He  fired  at  and 
killed  the  Indian. 

In  the  spring  of  1782,  a  marauding  party  of  Indians  made 
an  incursion  into  Abb's  Valley,  and  attacked  the  house  of  James 
Poague,  a  brother-in-law  of  Captain  Moore,  at  night,  broke  open 
the  door,  but  finding  there  were  several  men  in  the  house  (there 
were  three  besides  Mr.  Poague)  they  did  not  attempt  to  enter 
the  house,  but  after  watching  it  for  some  time  went  off;  and 
the  next  morning  killed  a  young  man  by  the  name  of  Richards, 
who  had  been  living  for  some  time  at  Captain  Moore's.  This  in- 
cident is  related  by  Kercheval,  the  Historian  of  the  valley.  It 
seems  that  this  party  of  Indians  on  entering  the  valley  divided, 
a  part  going  to  Burke's  Garden  and  attacking  Thomas  Ingles' 
family  as  hereinbefore  related,  and  another  part  the  Maxwell's 
and  others. 

James  Moore,  a  son  of  Captain  James,  and  who  was  only 
fourteen  years  of  age,  was  in  September,  1784,  captured  by  three 
Indians.  The  boy  had  been  sent  for  a  horse,  by  his  father,  to 
the  plantation  of  Mr.  Poague,  which  was  now  deserted,  as  Mr. 
Poague  had  left  some  time  before.    The  boy  was  taken  by  the 

1775-1794  91 

Indians  across  the  Ohio,  and  remained  a  prisoner  for  about 
five  years,  then  returned,  finding,  in  fact  hearing  before  he 
reached  home,  that  his  father's  family  had  been  destroyed  by 
the  Indians.  This  James  Moore  was  the  father  of  the  late  Wil- 
liam T.  Moore,  of  Abb's  Valley,  and  who  lived  to  about  the  age 
of  ninety  years,  one  of  the  most  honored  and  respected  citizens 
of  Tazewell  County,  Virginia.  Before  his  death  he  erected, 
largely  at  his  own  expense  in  Abb's  Valley,  near  the  place 
where  his  grandfather  and  family  were  destroyed  by  the  In- 
dians, Moore's  Memorial  (Methodist)  Church. 

Many  important  events  transpired  during  the  years  of  1784-5. 
The  border  land  or  frontier  was  rapidly  filling  up  with  a  rest- 
less, energetic  people,  largely  free  from  governmental  re- 
straints, with  no  other  special  duties  to  perform  than  that  of 
preparing  homes,  providing  food  and  clothing  and  fighting  sav- 
ages. These  people  west  of  the  Alleghanies,  on  the  waters  of 
Wautauga,  Holstein  and  upper  New  River  section,  seemingly 
dissatisfied  with  the  state  governments  of  North  Carolina  and 
Virginia,  sought  what  they  conceived  to  be  better.  The  people 
living  in  Washington,  Sullivan  and  Greene  Counties,  North 
Carolina,  set  up  a  new  government,  created  and  organized  a  new 
state  which  they  named  Franklin.  The  interests  of  the  people 
living  in  these  counties,  as  well  as  on  the  head  waters  of  the 
Holstein  and  upper  New  River  country,  were  so  closely  identi- 
fied, that  a  scheme  was  discussed  to  enlarge  the  territory  of  the 
new  state,  and  to  make  a  great  independent  Commonwealth. 
Colonel  Arthur  Campbell,  of  Washington  County,  Virginia, 
seems  to  have  been  at  the  head  of  the  movement,  and  in  1785 
he  proposed  the  enlargement  of  the  boundaries  of  the  new  state 
as. follows,  viz:  ^'Beginning  at  a  point  at  the  top  of  the  Alle- 
ghany or  Appalachian  Mountains  so  as  a  line  drawn  due  north 
from  thence  will  reach  the  banks  of  the  New  River,  then  called 
Kanawha,  at  the  confluence  of  the  little  river,  which  is  about 
one  mile  above  Ingle's  Ferry,  down  the  said  river  Kanawha  to 
the  mouth  of  Roncevert  (  or  Greenbrier  )  River,  a  direct  line 
from  thence  to  the  nearest  summit  of  the  Laurel  Mountain,  and 

New   River   Settlements 

long  the  highest  point  of  the  same  to  the  point  where  it  is  in- 
jrsected  by  the  parallel  of  thirty  seven  degrees  north  latitude ; 
^est  along  that  latitude  to  a  point  where  it  is  met  by  a  meridian 
ne  that  passes  through  the  lower  part  of  the  Rapids  of  Ohio ; 
3uth  along  the  meridian  to  Elk  Run,  a  branch  of  the  Tennessee, 
own  said  run  to  its  mouth,  and  down  the  Tennessee  to  the 
lost  southwardly  part  of  the  bend  in  said  river ;  a  line  from 
tience  to  that  branch  of  the  Mobile,  called  Donbigbee ;  down 
aid  river  Donbigbee  to  its  junction  with  the  Cossawate  River, 
3  the  mouth  of  that  branch  called  the  High  tower,  thence  south 
3  the  top  of  the  Appalachian  Mountain  at  its  highest  land 
tiat  divides  the  stream  of  the  eastern  from  the  western  waters ; 
orthwardly  along  the  middle  of  said  heights,  and  the  top  of 
tie  Appalachian  Mountains  to  the  beginning." 

This  new  state  composed  of  the  three  counties  mentioned, 
Lved  and  lasted  with  John  Sevier  as  its  governor  four  years, 
nd  then  ceased  to  further  exist ;  its  territory  having  been  final- 
Y  absorbed  or  embraced  within  the  limits  of  the  state  of  Tenn- 
ssee.  This  brief  mention  of  the  state  of  Franklin  is  only  made 
0  show  that  if  it  had  continued  its  existence  with  the  enlarg- 
d  territory  added  as  proposed  by  Colonel  Campbell,  the  coun- 
ies  of  Mercer  and  Tazewell  would  have  been  embraced  therein. 

A  raiding  party  of  Indians  in  1785  entered  the  Upper  Blue- 
tone  and  Wolf  Creek  sections,  stole  horses  and  gave  great 
,larm  to  the  settlers. 

The  general  assembly  of  Virginia  in  October,  1785,  passed  an 
ict  to  take  effect  May  first,  1786,  dividing  the  county  of  Wash- 
ngton  by  the  creation  of  the  county  of  Russell ;  which  Act 
•eads  as  follows :  ''All  that  part  of  said  county  lying  within  a 
ine  to  be  run  along  the  Clinch  Mountain  to  the  Carolina  line, 
hence  with  a  line  to  the  Cumberland  Mountain,  and  the  extent 
>f  the  county  between  the  Cumberland  Mountain,  Clinch  Moun- 
ain  and  the  line  of  Montgomery  County,  shall  be  one  distinct 
:ounty,  called  and  known  by  the  name  of  Russell.  Court  to 
neet  at  the  house  of  William  Robinson  in  Castlewoods." 

In  the  early  morning  of  July  14,  1786,  a  band  of  forty  Shaw- 

1775-1794  93 

nee  Indians  attacked  the  family  of  Captain  James  Moore  in 
Abb's  Valley,  killed  Captain  Moore,  two  of  his  children,  a  man 
by  the  name  of  Simpson,  captured  Mrs.  Moore,  and  her  four  re- 
maining children,  and  a  Miss  Evans  who  was  living  with  the 
family,  plundered,  and  burned  the  house,  and  then  made  off  to 
the  Ohio  with  their  prisoners  and  booty.  Two  men  in  the  har- 
vest field  just  south  of  the  house,  one  by  the  name  of  Clark,  the 
other  an  Irishman,  fled  and  gave  the  alarm.  Clark  ran  directly 
to  the  Davidson-Bailey  Fort  at  the  Beaver  Pond  spring,  the 
Irishman  to  a  settlement  on  upper  Bluestone.  A  messenger 
was  forthwith  dispatched  to  Major  Joseph  Cloyd,  on  Back 
Creek,  who  with  a  party  of  men  reached  the  scene  of  the  trag- 
edy the  second  day  after  its  enactment,  but  too  late  to  overtake 
the  Indians.  They  secured  the  bodies  of  the  dead  and  buried 
them.  They  found  the  body  of  Captain  Moore  about  two  hun- 
dred yards  north  of  the  house.  His  body  had  been  horribly  mu- 
tilated by  the  savages.  It  was  buried  where  he  fell  and  it  still 
reposes  there.  The  spot  where  the  two  small  children  were  bur- 
ied, remained  unknown  to  tlie  Moores  until  about  fifteen  years 
ago  Mr.  Oscar  B.  Moore,  the  great  grandson  of  Captain  James, 
while  plowing  or  having  plowing  done  in  a  field  near  where  the 
cabin  had  stood,  turned  up  tlie  bones  of  these  children  and  not 
far  away  under  the  edge  of  a  shelving  limestone  rock  the  bones 
of  a  man  of  very  large  frame  was  plowed  up,  supposed  to  be 
those  of  the  Indian  that  the  horse  Yorick  killed.  The  story  of 
the  destruction  of  Captain  Moore  and  his  family,  has  been  giv- 
en by  several  writers,  and  it  is  not  deemed  necessary  to  repeat 
it  here  in  full.  The  reader  for  further  information  is  referred 
to  ''Abb's  Valley  Captives :"  Kercheval's  His.  Val. :  Trans  Alle- 
ghany Pioneers :  Summers  His.  South-west  Virginia. 

The  Federal  Convention,  which  assembled  at  Philadelphia 
on  the  17th  day  of  September  completed  its  work,  and  submit- 
ted the  same  to  the  states  for  their  action.  The  Virginia  con- 
vention convened  to  consider  the  ratification  or  rejection  of 
this  Federal  constitution,  assembled  in  the  city  of  Richmond 
on  the  2nd  day  of  June,  1788.     The  representatives  from  the 

94  New   River   Settlements 

county  of  Montgomery,  of  which  the  territory  of  Mercer  was 
then  a  part,  were  Walter  Crockett  and  Abraham  Trigg.  Wash- 
ington County  was  represented  by  Samuel  Edmiston  and 
James  Montgomery,  The  opposition  to  the  ratification  of  the 
constitution  was  vigorous,  being  led  by  Patrick  Henry,  while 
James  Madison  and  Governor  Randolph  earnestly  supported 
ratification.  It  was  ratified  with  sundry  amendments,  recom- 
mendations and  conditions  added,  by  a  vote  of  89  to  79,  the  rep- 
resentatives from  west  of  the  Alleghanies  voting  against  rati- 
fication. And  thus  with  perhaps  two  exceptions,  the  people  liv- 
ing west  of  the  Alleghanies  have  almost  invariably  opposed  and 
voted  against  every  constitution  presented  to  them,  and  the 
last  heard  from  they  were  still  voting  along  the  same  lines.  It 
is  true  they  voted  for  the  ratification  of  the  Underwood  consti- 
tution of  18G9  but  this  was  a  matter  of  self-preservation,  to 
avoid  political  disabilities,  disfranchisement,  and  negro  domin- 
ation, all  of  which  had  practically  been  incorporated  into  the 
constitution,  but  several  of  the  obnoxious  features  thereof  were 
by  authority  of  President  Grant  voted  on  separately  and  de- 
feated. But  the  stronger  reason  that  impelled  them  to  vote  for 
this  constitution,  was  tlie  fear  of  carpetbag  and  scalawagism, 
as  well  as  negro  domination. 

Captain  Henry  Harman,  who  was  a  German,  but  born  on  the 
Isle  of  Man,  first  settled  in  North  Carolina  near  the  Moravian 
town,  Salem,  and  there  married  Miss  Nancy  Wilburn,  and  from 
thence  removed  about  the  year  of  1758  to  the  New  River  valley, 
and  settled  on  Buchanan's  bottom,  the  Major  James  R.  Kent 
farm.  Some  years  later  Captain  Harman  settled  on  Walker's 
Creek,  but  soon  removed  to  the  north  branch  thereof,  known 
now  as  Kimberling  Creek  (the  name  believed  to  have  been  giv- 
en from  Jacob  Kimberline).  This  farm  on  which  he  settled  on 
the  Kimberling,  and  now  known  as  Hollybrook,  remained  in  his 
family  for  long  years.  The  last  Harman  that  owned  and  occu- 
pied it  was  Colonel  William  N.  Harman,  a  grandson  of  Captain 
Henry,  a  lawyer  by  profession,  and  who  commanded  a  battalion 
of  confederate  calvery  during  our  civil  war.      Colonel  Harman 

1775-1794  95 

with  his  family  recently  removed  to  the  territory  of  Oklahoma, 
Captain  Henry  Harman  very  early  in  the  morning  of  Novem- 
ber 12th,  1788,  started  out  on  his  usual  fall  hunt,  taking  with 
him  two  of  his  sons,  George  and  Matthias,  and  a  man  by  the 
name  of  George  Draper.  They  had  with  them  their  bear  dogs 
and  pack  horses,  with  the  latter  to  transport  their  game. 
Starting  early  and  traveling  the  mountain  trails  by  the  short- 
est route,  they  reached  a  point  on  the  Tug  Fork  of  the  Sandy  be- 
low the  junction  of  the  North  and  South  forks  thereof  a  little 
more  than  two  miles  below  said  junction  on  the  right  bank  of 
the  main  Tug  fork,  where  they  selected  their  camp,  the  con- 
struction of  which  was  left  to  the  Captain,  who  desired  it  ar- 
ranged to  suit  his  taste.  George  and  Matthias  had  started  to 
the  woods  to  look  for  game,  while  Mr.  Draper  was  looking  af- 
ter the  horses.  A  short  distance  from  the  stopping  place 
George  Harman  found  a  camp  in  which  fire  was  still  burning 
and  a  pair  of  leggins,  which  Captain  Harman  decided  from  the 
odor  had  been  with  the  Indians,  and  had  formerly  belonged  to 
Captain  James  Moore,  who  had  been  killed  and  his  house  plun- 
dered by  the  Indians  a  little  more  than  two  years  before.  Cap- 
tain Harman  satisfied  that  he  was  in  near  proximity  to  the  In- 
dians, and  night  rapidly  approaching,  decided  to  retrace  his 
steps,  knowing  if  he  remained  he  would  be  attacked,  and  to  get 
out  was  safer,  and  would  also  enable  him  to  give  notice  to  the 
settlers ;  he  thereupon  called  in  Matthias,  caught  up  the  horses 
and  moved  out ;  he  and  Mr.  Draper  in  front,  the  horses  next, 
and  George  and  Matthias  to  bring  up  the  rear.  They  had  pro 
ceeded  but  short  distance,  when  they  were  fired  upon  by  the  In- 
dians, some  six  or  seven  in  number.  Draper  letired  at  the  tire 
of  the  first  gun,  and  hid  himself  in  the  branches  of  a  fallen 
tree,  a  little  to  the  rorir  of  the  seen 3  of  conflict,  so  that  the  Har- 
mans  were  left  alone  to  contend  with  at  least,  if  not  more  than 
double  their  own  number.  The  fight  was  close  and  bloody, 
Captain  Harman  receiving  one  severe,  and  other  slight  wounds 
from  arrows.  George  had  a  hand  to  hand  conflict  with  one  of 
the  savages,  whom  with  the  help  of  Matthias,  he  succeeded  in 

96  New  River  Settlembntb 

dispatching.  Two  of  the  Indians  being  killed,  and  two  wound- 
ed, those  still  unhurt  with  the  wounded  ones,  beat  a  retreat,  and 
the  Harmans  pursued  their  way  safely  homeward.  Drajier 
from  his  hiding  place  had  observed  the  retreat  of  the  Indians, 
crept  out,  hurried  into  the  settlement,  and  reported  the  Har- 
mans killed.  This  brief  account  of  the  affair  taken  from  a  copy 
of  the  ''Harman  Ms  ",  in  posession  of  the  author,  A  much  ful- 
ler account  of  this  fight  will  be  found  in  Hickley's  History  of 
Tazewell,  and  in  Summers'  History  of  Southwestern  Virginia, 
to  which  the  reader  is  referred,  and  attention  is  called  to  the 
correct  date  upon  which  the  fight  took  place,  the  other  publica- 
tions having  the  dates  wrong  by  four  years.  About  twetnty  years 
ago  some  gentlemen  in  McDowell  County,  West  Virginia,  (this 
fight  took  place  in  what  is  now  the  territory  of  McDowell 
County),  on  a  hunting  tour  over  the  side  of  the  mountain  near- 
by the  battle  ground  and  under  a  cliff  of  rock,  found  the  skele- 
ton of  a  human  being,  and  brought  away  the  skull,  and  pre- 
sented the  same  to  Mr.  Hiram  Christian,  of  McDowell.  It  was 
very  peculiarly  shapped,  and  all  who  saw  it  pronounced  it  the 
skull  of  an  Indian. 

Capt.  Henry  Harman  wrote  some  verses  on  this  battle  which 
are  herein  inserted,  which  are  as  follows : 


"Come  all  ye  bold  heroes  whose  hearts  flow  with  courage, 

With  respect  pay  attention  to  a  bloody  fray 
Fought  by  Captain  Harman  and  valiant  sons, 

With  the  murdering  Shawnees  they  met  on  the  way. 

This  battle  was  fought  on  the  twelfth  of  November, 

Seventeen  hundred  and  eighty  and  eight, 
Where  God  of  his  mercy  stood  by  those  brave  heroes, 

Or  they  must  have  yielded  to  a  dismal  fate. 

Oh!    nothing  would   do  this  bold   Henry  Harman 
But  down   to   Tug  River  without  more   delay, 

With  valiant  sons  and  their  noble  rifles. 

Intending  a  number  of  bears  for  to  slay. 

They  camped   on  Tug  River  with  pleasing  contentment. 
Till  the  sign   of  bloodthirsty   Shawnees  appears, 

Then  with  brave  resolution  they  quickly  embark. 

To  cross  the  high  mountains  and  warn  the  frontiers. 

1775-1794  97 

Brave  Harman  rode  foremost  with  undaunted  courage 
Nor  left  his  old  trail  those  heathen  to  shun; 

His  firm  resolution  was  to  save  Bluestone, 

Though  he  knew  by  their  sign  there  were  near  three  to  one. 

The  first  salutation  the  Shawnees  did  give  them, 

They  saw  the  smoke  rise  from  behind  some  old  logs; 

Brave  Harman  to  fight  them  then  quickly  dismounted, 

Saying,  "Do  you  lie  there  you  savage,  murdering  dogs?" 

He  says,  "My  dear  sons  stand  by  me  with  courage, 

And  like  heroes  fight  on  till  you  die  on  the  ground;" 

Without  hesitation  they  swiftly  rushed  forward; 

They'd  have  the  great  honor  of  taking  their  hair. 

At  first  by  the  host  of  the  Redskins  surrounded, 

His  well  pointed  gun  made  them  jump  behind  trees; 

At  last  all  are  slain,  but  two,  and  they  wounded, 

Cherokee  in  the  shoulder,  and  Wolf  in  the  knees. 

Great  thanks  to  Almighty  for  the  strength  and  the  courage. 
By  which  the  brave  Harmans  triumphed  o'er  the  foe; 

Not  the  women  and  children,  they  intended  to  slaughter. 
But  the  bloody  invaders  themselves  are  laid  low. 

May  their  generation  on  the  frontiers  be  stationed, 

To  confound  and  defeat  all  their  murdering  schemes, 

And  put  a  flustration  to  every  invasion. 

And   drive  the   Shawnees   from   Montgomery's   fair  streams." 

In  the  the  early  spring  of  1789,  James  Roark  and  family 
lived  at  a  gap  of  the  ridge,  dividing  the  waters  of  Clinch  and 
Sandy  Rivers,  and  near  the  head  spring  of  the  Dry  fork  of 
Sandy,  and  on  and  near  the  line  dividing  the  counties  of  Rus- 
sell and  Mongomery.  A  raiding  party  of  Indians  had  come 
up  the  Dry  fork  of  the  Sandy,  and  unexpectedly  to  them,  quite 
a  snow  had  fallen  and  they  took  shelter  or  camped  under  a 
large  overhanging  rock  opposite  the  mouth  of  Dick's  Creek,  of 
Dry  fork.  It  was  while  under  this  rock,  waiting  for  the  snow 
to  disappear,  that  they  discovered  William  Wheatley,  who 
lived  in  Baptist  Valley,  in  search  of  his  lost  dog,  killed  him, 
mutulated  his  body,  tore  out  his  bowels,  stretched  them  upon 
the  bushes,  his  heart  being  found  in  one  place,  his  liver  in 
another.  On  a  large  beech  tree  near  the  place  where  Wheatly 
was  killed,  the  Indians  cut  the  figure  of  a  man,  which  was 
plainly  visible  a  few  years  ago.  After  the  killing  of  Wheatley, 
and  the  snow  had  disappeared,  they  moved  up  Dry  fork  and  fell 

98  New   River   Settlements 

upon  the  faniily  of  Roark,  killing  his  wife  and  several  children 
and  then  retired  down  the  Sandy. 

In  the  fall  of  this  same  year  of  1789,  a  body  of  Indians  came 
into  the  Bluestone  and  upper  Clinch  settlements,  crossed  the 
East  River  mountain  on  to  the  waters  of  the  Clear  fork  of  Wolf 
Creek,  prowled  around  for  several  days  to  find,  as  afterwards 
ascertained,  the  home  of  George  and  Matthias  Harman,  they 
supposed  they  had  killed  Captain  Henry  Harman  in  the  fight 
on  the  Tug  the  year  before.  Late  in  the  evening  of  the  first  day 
of  October,  1789,  they  suddenly  appeared  at  the  door  of  the 
cabin  of  Thomas  Wiley,  on  Clear  Fork,  at  what  is  now  known 
as  the  "Dill's  Place."  Mr.  Wiley  was  from  home,  they  took 
his  wife,  Virginia,  and  five  children  prisoners,  plundered  the 
house,  and  moved  ofif  up  Cove  Creek,  where  they  killed  all  of 
Mrs.  Wiley's  children,  crossed  the  East  River  mountain  by  the 
farm  owned  by  the  late  Walter  McDonald  Sanders,  down  Bea- 
ver Pond  Creek,  by  where  the  town  of  Graham,Virginia,  is  now 
situated,  striking  Bluestone,  and  across  Flat  Top  mountain  by 
way  of  the  Pealed  Chestnuts,  and  down  the  north  fork  of  the 
Tug  fork  to  the  Harman  battle  ground,  (a  part  of  the  same  In- 
dians that  captured  Mrs.  Wiley,  were  in  the  fight  with  Har- 
man.) On  the  battlefield  they  gathered  together  some  of  the 
bones  of  their  comrades  who  had  fallen  in  the  fight,  and  be- 
moaned and  bewailed  their  loss,  and  finally  the  leader  of  the 
party  said  to  Mrs.  Wiley,  "Here  I  killed  Old  Skygusty,"  the 
name  they  had  given  Captain  Harman;  Mrs.  Wiley  replied, 
"No  you  didn't  for  I  saw  him  last  week."  The  Indian,  appar- 
ently nettled  at  her  reply,  said,  "You  lie,  you  Virginia  Huzza, 
you  lie,  for  when  I  shot  him  I  heard  him  call  on  his  God."  Mrs 
Wiley  was  taken  to  the  Indian  town  at  Chillicothe  where  she 
remained  until  the  last  days  of  September,  1792,  when  she  es- 
caped; a  full  history  of  which  will  be  given  later  on  when  we 
narrate  the  events  occurring  in  year  of  1792.  This  incident 
is  taken  in  part  from  a  letter  of  Mr.  Armstrong  Wiley  and 
from  a  report  made  by  Colonel  Robert  Trigg  to  the  Governor 

1775-1794  99 

of  Virginia  whicli  will  be  found  in  the  Virginia  Calendar  Pa- 

A  marauding  party  of  Indians  entered  the  Bluestone  and 
upper  Clinch  settlements,  in  the  year  of  1790,  which  greatly 
alarmed  the  settlers,  who  took  prompt  measures  to  repel  and 
punish  them.  They  committed  no  other  outrage  than  to  steal 
a  large  number  of  horses  from  the  people,  which  they  succeed- 
ed in  getting  away  with.  At  the  coming  of  the  Indians  in  this 
year  of  1790,  an  event  happened  in  the  neighborhood  of  the 
Davidson-Bailey  Fort,  which  was  deeply  impressed  upon  the 
minds  of  those  conversant  with  what  is  about  to  be  related. 
John  Bailey,  son  of  Richard,  the  settler,  had  married  a  daugh- 
ter of  John  Goolman  Davidson,  the  settler,  and  the  buildings  at 
the  fort  being  so  crowded,  and  Mr.  Bailey  desiring  to  set  out  for 
himself,  had  on  Boyer's  Branch,  about  three-fourths  of  a  mile 
north-east  of  the  fort,  erected  him  a  fairly  good  one  room  log 
house  to  which  he  took  his  young  wife,  and  there  in  the  sum- 
mer of  1790,  was  born  his  first  child  and  eldest  son,Jonathan, 
who  was  only  four  days  old  when  the  Indians  entered  the 
neighborhood.  The  young  mother  seized  her  babe,  mounted  a 
horse  and  rode  to  the  fort,  from  which  she  seemed  to  suffer 
no  injury  or  inconvenience.  If  such  were  to  happen  in  this  our 
day  there  is  at  least  a  probability  there  would  be  a  funeral  or 
a  heavy  physician's  bill  to  pay. 

Jonathan  Bailey  long  lived,  dying  in  1770,  leaving  behind 
him  a  numerous  progeny  of  as  good  people  as  live  in  any  com- 

The  General  Assembly  of  Virginia  in  October,  1789,  created 
the  county  of  Wythe  within  the  following  boundaries:  All 
that  part  of  Montgomery  which  lies  south  and  west  of  a  line 
beginning  in  the  Henry  line  at  the  head  of  Big  Reedy  Island, 
from  thence  to  Wagon  ford  on  Peek  Creek,  thence  to  the  Clov- 
er bottom  on  Bluestone,  thence  to  the  Kanawha  line,  shall 
form  one  distinct  county,  and  to  be  called  and  known  by  the 
name  of  Wythe.  Court  for  Wythe  to  be  held  at  the  house  of 
James  McGavock."     By  this  same  act  a  part  of  the  western 

100  New  River  Settlements 

part  of  tlie  County  of  Botetourt  was  added  to  Montgomery. 
The  western  line  of  Wythe  was  the  same  as  had  been  the  west- 
ern line  of  Mongomery  County  viz:  from  the  second  ford  of 
Holstein  above  the  Royal  Oak  to  the  west  end  of  Morriss'  Knob 
and  then  to  the  head  waters  of  the  Sandy  at  Roark's  gap.  And 
this  remained  unchanged  until  the  county  of  Tazewell  was 
created  in  1800. 

Andrew  Davidson,  son  of  John  Goolman  Davidson  had  mar- 
ried Rebecca  Burke,  granddaughter  of  James  Burke,  the  re- 
puted discoverer  of  Burke's  Garden,  and  had  made  his  settle- 
ment at  the  head  spring  of  the  East  River,  less  than  a  half  mile 
from  what  is  now  the  east  limits  of  the  city  of  Bluefleld,  West 
Virginia.  The  spring  of  1791  being  late,  Andrew  Davidson 
having  some  important  business  at  Smithfield  (Draper's 
Meadows)  from  which  his  father  and  family  had  removed 
about  ten  years  before,  set  off  from  home  in  the  early  part  of 
April  leaving  at  home  his  wife,  his  three  small  children,  two 
girls  and  boy,  and  two  bound  children,  orphans,  whose  names 
were  Bromfleld.  Mr.  Davidson  had  requested  his  brother-in 
law,  John  Bailey,  to  look  after  his  family.  Shortly  after  Mr. 
Davidson's  departure,  perhaps  two  or  three  days,  and  while 
Mrs.  Davidson  was  gathering  sugar  water  from  sugar  maple 
trees  close  by  the  house,  there  suddenly  appeared  several  In- 
dians, who  told  her  she  would  have  to  go  with  them  to  their 
towns  beyond  the  Ohio.  There  was  no  alternative  although  she 
was  in  no  condition  to  make  such  a  trip,  as  she  was  then  rapid- 
ly approaching  motherhood.  Taking  such  plunder  as  they 
could  carry,  they  set  fire  to  the  house  and  with  their  prisoners 
departed ;  the  Indians  helping  along  with  the  children.  On  the 
way,  near  where  Logan  Court  House,  West  Virginia,  now 
stands,  Mrs.  Davidson  by  reason  of  the  exertion  and  anxiety 
of  mind  gave  birth  to  her  child.  Only  two  hours  relaxation 
from  the  march  was  allowed  her  and  they  again  pushed  on. 
The  little  stranger  after  a  day's  time,  they  drowned.  On  the 
fateful  morning  on  which  Mrs.  Davidson  and  her  chidren  were 
captured,  John  Bailey  being  at  the  fort  informed  his  people 

1775-1794  101 

that  he  must  go  over  and  look  after  Andrew  Davidson's  fam- 
ily, whereupon  one  of  his  sisters,  (he  had  but  two,)  told  him 
to  get  her  a  horse  and  that  she  would  go  with  him,  to  which 
he  assented  and  secured  the  horse  for  her.  They  set  out  on 
the  journey,  going  up  Boyer's  Branch  to  the  gap  in  the  ridge, 
where  the  livery  stable  of  Mr.  J.  C.  Higgenbothen  now  stands 
inside  the  city  limits  of  Bluefield,  and  which  spot  has  now  been 
selected  for  the  site  of  the  Federal  building  shortly  to  be  erect- 
ed. On  reaching  this  gap  Mr.  Bailey  discovered  a  heavy  smoke 
from  the  direction  of  the  Davidson  house,  and  thereupon  told 
his  sister  to  remain  on  her  horse  in  the  gap  and  watch  while  he 
went  forward  to  a  piece  of  ground  in  the  valley,  (the  hill  on 
which  lately  stood  the  Higgenbothen  residence,  but  which  hill 
has  been  recently  removed).  He  hurriedly  returned,  reporting 
the  house  on  fire,  and  that  evidently  the  Indians  had  been  there 
and  taken  the  people,  as  no  one  could  be  seen  about  the  house. 
Mr.  Bailey  and  his  sister  rode  rapidly  to  the  fort,  gave  the 
alarm  to  the  neighborhood,  and  a  party  gathered  as  quickly  as 
possible  and  pursued  the  Indians,  but  the  leaves  being  dry  the 
savages  had  left  but  few,  if  any  marks,  and  the  party  was  un- 
able to  overtake  them.  On  arriving  at  the  Indian  town,  the 
little  girls  of  Mrs.  Davidson  were  tied  to  trees  and  shot  to 
death  before  her  eyes.  The  boy,  her  son,  was  given  to  an  old 
squaw,  who  in  crossing  a  river  with  him  upset  the  canoe  and 
the  boy  was  drowned.  As  to  what  became  of  the  two  bound 
children,  was  by  the  white  people  never  known. 

Mrs.  Davidson  was  in  captivity  from  April,  1791,  until  a 
date  subsequent  to  Wayne's  victory  over  the  United  Indian 
Tribes  at  Fallen  Timbers  in  August,  1794.  Mr.  Davidson 
made  the  second  trip  in  search  of  his  wife  before  he  found  her. 
He  had  before  his  second  trip  received  information  through 
an  old  Indian  which  led  him  across  the  Canadian  border,  and 
stopping  at  a  farm  house  to  obtain  a  meal,  observed  a  woman 
passing  him  as  he  entered  the  house,  to  whom  he  merely  bowed 
and  went  in.  Shortly  the  woman  came  in  with  a  load  of  wood 
and  laying  it  down,  looked  at  the  stranger  for  a  moment,  then 

102  New  River  Settlements 

turned  to  her  Mistress,  (for  she  had  been  sold  as  a  servant  to 
a  Canadian  French  farmer),  and  said,  "I  know  that  man;" 
"Well,  who  is  he?"  said  the  French  lady.  "It  is  my  husband! 
Andrew  Davidson,  I  am  your  wife."  Mr.  Davidson  was  not 
only  astounded,  but  joyfully  and  more  than  agreeably  sur- 
prised, for  when  he  last  saw  his  wife,  she  was  a  fine  healthy 
looking  woman,  her  hair  as  black  as  a  raven's  wing,  but  had 
now  turned  to  snowy  white.  Mr.  Davidson  returned,  bringing 
with  him  his  wife,  and  they  settled  at  the  mouth  of  Abb's  Val- 
ley on  a  farm  now  owned  by  A.  C.  Davidson,  Esq.  Mr.  and 
Mrs.  Davidson  raised  another  family  of  children,  she  long 
lived,  and  when  she  died,  her  remains  were  removed  to  and 
buried  in  the  Burke  burying  ground  at  the  Horse  Shoe  farm 
on  New  River  in  the  now  county  of  Giles.  At  the  time  of  the 
capture  of  Mrs.  Davidson  in  April,  1791,  the  place  where  she 
was  captured  was  then  in  that  part  of  Wythe  County,  which  is 
now  Mercer  County,  West  Virginia. 

Major  Robert  Crockett  was  for  a  number  of  years  including 

1791,  and  for  some  years  later,  the  military  commandant  in 
Wythe  County,  and  for  a  good  part  of  the  time  made  his  head- 
quarters on  the  Clinch  at  Wynn's  Fort. 

A  band  of  Indians  from  the   Ohio   country,   came  in    July, 

1792,  into  the  Bluestone  and  upper  Clinch  settlements  and  be- 
gan their  depredations — stealing  horses,  which  they  had  found 
to  be  a  profitable  business.  They  stole  the  horses  of  the  set- 
tlers, and  ran  them  over  into  Canada,  where  they  sold  them  at 
remunerative  prices. 

Major  Crockett  assembled  forty  men  at  the  place  where 
stands  the  residence  of  the  late  ('aptain  Thomas  Peery.  Among 
the  number  who  obeyed  the  call  of  Major  Crockett  were  Joseph 
Gilbert  and  Samuel  Lusk,  the  latter  a  youth  of  about  sixteen 
years,  but  with  quite  an  experience  as  an  Indian  spy  and  scout, 
having  made  a  number  of  trips  with  the  said  Joseph  Gilbert, 
who  was  a  noted  Indian  scout  and  hunter. 

The  late  Captain  James  Shannon  of  the  county  of  Wyoming, 
West  Virginia,  when  about  ninety  three  years  of  age,  related 

1775-1794  103 

to  the  autlior,  that  he  rode  behind  his  father  on  a  horse  to  the 
assembly  ground,  and  well  recollected  Joseph  Gilbert  as  an  ac- 
tive atheletic  young  man,  and  that  he  also  saw  Lusk  on  the 
same  occasion. 

Major  Crockett  moved  off  with  his  men  to  follow  the  Indians, 
having  no  time  to  prepare  provisions  for  the  journey.  They 
took  the  route  down  Horse  Pen  Creek,  and  to  the  head  of  Clear 
fork,  and  down  to  the  Tug  and  on  to  the  mouth  of  Four  Pole, 
then  crossing  the  dividing  ridge  between  the  waters  of  the 
Sandy  and  Guyandotte  Rivers.  They  sent  Gilbert  and  Lusk 
forward  to  a  Buffalo  lick  on  a  creek  flowing  into  the  Guyan- 
dotte, to  secure  if  possible  a  supply  of  game.  It  appears  by  the 
report  of  Major  Crockett,  found  in  the  Virginia  Calendar  Pa- 
pers, that  this  was  on  the  twenty  fourth  day  of  July  that  Gil- 
bert and  Lusk  set  out  for  and  reached  the  lick,  where  they 
found  and  killed  a  deer  and  wounded  an  elk,  which  they  fol- 
lowed, some  distance ;  being  unable  to  overtake  it  they  returned 
to  the  lick  to  get  the  deer  they  had  killed.  On  passing  along 
the  Buffolo  path,  near  which  they  had  left  the  deer,  Gilbert  in 
front,  discovered  a  stone  hanging  by  pawpaw  bark  over  the 
path,  Gilbert  in  an  instant  discerning  what  it  meant  called  on 
Lusk  to  look  out.  He  had  scarcely  uttered  the  words,  when 
the  Indians  fired,  a  ball  from  one  of  their  guns  penetrating  the 
hand  of  Lusk,  in  which  he  carried  his  gun,  which  caused  him  to 
drop  the  same.  The  Indians  immediately  began  to  close  in  on 
them,  Gilbert  putting  Lusk  behind  him,  and  holding  the  In- 
dians off  by  the  presentation  of  his  gun.  Gilbert  and  Lusk  kept 
retreating  as  rapidly  as  they  could  with  safety.  Lusk's  wound- 
ed hand  was  bleeding  freely,  and  he  became  sick  from  the  loss 
of  blood,  and  begged  Gilbert  to  leave  him  and  get  away;  this 
Gilbert  refused  to  do,  saying,  that  he  promised  his,  Lusk's 
motlier,  to  take  care  of  him.  Finally  the  Indians  got  close 
enough  to  knock  Gilbert  down  with  their  tomahawks,  which 
they  did,  and  an  Indian  rushed  up  to  scalp  him,  when  Gilbert 
shot  him  dead,  but  another  one  of  the  Indians  dispatched  Gil- 
bert, and  Lusk  became  a  prisoner.   The  Indians  immediately  hur- 

104  New  River  Settlements 

ried  with  their  prisoner  down  the  creek  to  Guyandotte,  and 
then  down  the  river  to  the  mouth  of  Island  Creek,  and  went 
into  camp  behind  a  rocky  ridge  called  Hog  Back  at  the  present 
day.  Major  Crockett  instead  of  following  the  tracks  of  Gilbert 
and  Lusk  to  the  lick,  had  turned  to  the  west,  and  crossed  a 
ridge  onto  the  right  fork  of  Island  Creek,  and  reached  and 
camped  at  a  point  within  two  miles  of  the  Indian  camp,  but 
without  knowledge  of  his  proximity  to  them.  During  the  night 
Lusk  suffered  much  with  his  hand  until  an  Indian  went  off  and 
brought  some  roots  which  he  beat  up  into  a  pulp,  made  a  poul- 
tice, and  bound  his  hand  which  afforded  relief.  Early  on  the 
morning  of  the  25th  the  Indians  took  to  their  canoes,  which 
they  had  left  at  this  point  on  their  way  to  the  settlements, 
and  rapidly  descending  the  river  to  its  mouth  crossed  the  Ohio. 
On  reaching  the  northern  bank,  they  placed  their  canoes  in 
charge  of  some  of  their  party  and  taking  Lusk  with  them 
crossed  the  country. 

The  Indians  had  learned  some  things  from  their  contact  with 
white  men,  among  them  was  to  wear  a  hunting  shirt,  a  loose 
garment  which  they  fastened  around  the  waist,  leaving  it  open 
and  loose  above  the  waist.  These  Indians  that  had  Lusk  in 
charge  had  donned  the  hunting  shirt.  On  the  way  across  the 
country,  on  the  evening  they  crossed  the  Ohio,  and  before  halt- 
ing to  camp,  they  passed  through  some  prairie  country,  and 
Lusk  observed  that  they  kept  now  and  then  stooping  down  tak- 
ing something  from  the  ground,  and  putting  inside  of  their 
hunting  shirts.  When  they  had  reached  their  camping  place, 
and  had  built  a  fire,  they  went  off  and  brought  a  large  iron 
kettle,  put  on  the  fire,  and  put  into  it  a  considerable  quantity 
of  water,  and  when  it  began  to  approach  the  boiling  point,  the 
Indians  gathered  around  the  kettle  and  began  to  take  some- 
thing from  the  inside  of  their  hunting  shirts  and  throw  into  the 
water,  and  seemed  to  be  in  high  glee  as  indicated  by  their 
laughter.  Lusk  ventured  up  to  see  what  it  meant,  and  found  it 
was  dry  land  toads  they  had  gathered  on  the  route  and  were 
putting  into  the  hot  boiling  water.    They  were  preparing  sup- 

1775-1794  105 

per,  and  when  they  had  reduced  the  water  and  the  toads  to  the 
consistency  of  a  good  thick  mush,  they  took  the  kettle  from  the 
fire  and  permitted  the  mush  to  cool;  they  then  took  wooden 
spoons,  offering  one  to  Lusk,  which  he  refused,  and  gathered 
around  the  kettle  and  began  to  eat.  Finding  that  Lusk  would 
not  eat  with  them,  one  of  their  number  went  off  and  procured 
some  jerked  buffalo  meat  and  furnished  it  to  Lusk.  The  jour- 
ney was  resumed  the  next  morning,  and  during  the  day  their 
town  of  Chillicothe  was  reached,  where  Lusk  met  and  made  the 
acquaintance  of  Mrs.  Virginia  Wiley,  who  had  been  captured 
on  the  first  day  of  October,  1789,  as  herein  before  related. 

Lusk's  wounded  hand  rapidly  healed,  and  the  Indians  put 
him  to  work  in  their  corn  fields,  and  later  to  aid  in  building 
some  new  cabins  for  the  winter.  He  appearing  to  be  an  expert 
at  what  is  termed  carrying  up  a  corner,  while  so  engaged  and 
notching  down  a  piece  of  timber,  his  axe  threw  off  a  lage  chip 
of  wood,  which  struck  a  stout  young  Indian  about  Lusk's  size 
and  age  in  the  face,  which  made  the  young  fellow  very  angry. 
Believing  or  pretending  to  believe,  that  Lusk  had  intentionally 
caused  the  chip  to  strike  him,  he  thereupon  challenged 
Lusk  for  a  fight,  which  challenge  Lusk  accepted,  came  down 
from  the  house,  and  gave  to  his  challenger  a  fearful  thrashing. 
The  other  Indians  stood  by  and  praised  Lusk,  and  made  fun  at 
the  other  fellow,  who  though  whipped,  was  yet  very  angry.  He 
went  off  and  secured  two  large  knives,  came  back  offering  one 
to  Lusk,  and  challenged  him  to  mortal  combat.  The  older  In- 
dians advised  Lusk  not  to  take  the  knife,  but  to  keep  out  of  his 
way,  and  at  the  same  time  shake  his  fist  at  him,  which  he  did 
only  adding  insult  to  injury ;  but  finally  by  the  interposition  of 
the  older  heads  the  matter  was  adjusted.  In  September  the  In- 
dians planned  and  made  ready  for  their  annual  fall  hunt  in  the 
region  of  the  lakes.  It  was  towards  the  latter  part  of  the 
month  when  the  hunting  party  left  Chillicothe  going  north, 
leaving  only  the  squaws,  the  children,  and  an  old  Indian  Chief 
in  charge  of  the  town,  and  the  prisoners  Lusk  and  Mrs.  Wiley. 
Lusk  determined  to  make  his  escape,  and  made  known  his  in- 

106  New  River  Settlements 

tention  to  Mrs.  Wiley,  who  declared  that  she  would  go  with 
him.  He  sought  to  dissuade  her  as  she  could  prabably  not  keep 
up  with  him  in  traveling,  and  might  very  much  hinder  and  em- 
barrass him  if  they  would  be  pursued.  Up  to  the  time  of  the 
departure  of  the  hunting  party,  Lusk  had  made  himself  help- 
ful to  his  captors,  but  expressed  himself  as  delighted  with  his 
new  made  acquaintances,  and  expressed  a  desire  to  remain  with 
them,  whereby  he  ingratiated  himself  fully  into  their  confi- 
dence, so  much  so  that  they  seemed  not  to  have  the  slightest 
doubt  of  his  sincerity.  Not  so  as  to  Mrs  .Wiley,  who  had  fre- 
quently shown  signs  of  uneasiness  and  inclination  to  go  away ; 
so  that  when  the  hunting  party  was  about  to  depart  Mrs.  Wiley 
was  placed  in  charge  of  the  old  Indian  Chief  with  directions  to 
keep  close  watch  on  her. 

In  the  course  of  events  it  so  happened  late  one  September 
evening  near  the  last  of  the  month,  and  just  before  the  sun  was 
setting,  that  the  Old  Indian  Chief,  who  was  lying  on  the 
ground,  required  Mrs.  Wiley  to  sit  down  beside  him ;  he  draw- 
ing the  skirts  of  her  dress  far  enough  towards  him  that  he 
could  lie  on  the  same  which  he  did ;  turning  his  face  from  Mrs. 
Wiley,  he  went  to  sleep.  He  had  on  his  belt  his  scalping 
knife,  the  squaws  were  busy  about  their  house  work,  when  Lusk 
made  known  to  Mrs.  Wiley,  that  he  was  ready  and  about  to  go, 
and  she  determined  to  go  with  him,  and  reaching  over  the  body 
of  the  old  Chief  she  secured  his  scalping  knife,  cut  that  por- 
tion of  her  dress  underneath  him  from  the  other  portion  on 
her  body,  and  hurrying  down  to  the  bank  of  the  Scioto,  where 
Lusk  had  a  light  canoe  in  readiness,  they  entered  the  same  and 
immediately  and  as  quietly  as  possible  set  off  swiftly  and  rap- 
idly down  the  river  for  the  southern  bank  of  the  Ohio,  fifty 
miles  away,  Lusk  using  the  pole  and  Mrs.  Wiley  the  paddle. 
They  reached  the  southern  bank  of  the  Ohio  about  daylight  the 
next  morning  where  they  abandoned  their  canoe,  and  immedi- 
ately set  out  up  the  Ohio.  Lusk  believing  they  would  be  pur- 
sued, and  afraid  to  follow  up  the  Sandy  or  Guyandotte  waters 
for  fear  of  eitlier  being  overtaken,  or  meeting  with  some  roving 

1775-1794  107 

bands  of  savages,  he  steadily  kept  his  courfee  up  the  southern 
bank  of  the  Ohio  to  opposite  Gallipolis,  where  a  few  French 
people  lived,  crossed  over  into  the  village  and  found  a  place  of 
refuge,  where  he  and  Mrs.  Wiley  could  hide  away  until  the  dan- 
ger of  recapture  had  passed. 

In  a  few  days  a  pursuing  party  of  Indians  reached  Gallipo- 
lis, but  failing  to  find  the  runaways  soon  departed.  Mr.  Lusk 
determined  to  take  no  risks  by  attempting  to  return  through 
the  Virginia  Mountains,  and  finding  some  men  passing  up  the 
Ohio  in  a  push  boat  bound  for  Pittsburg,  he  secured  passage 
with  them,  leaving  Mrs.  Wiley,  who  declined  to  go  in  the  boat, 
with  her  kind  protectors  in  Gallipolis.  In  a  few  days  after 
Lusk's  departure,  Mrs.  Wiley  made  up  her  mind  to  endeavor 
to  make  her  way  home  by  the  Kanawha  and  New  Rivers,  which 
she  did  after  many  days,  and  a  long  tiresome,  and  dangerous 
journey,  finally  reaching  her  husband's  brother  and  family  at 
Wiley's  Falls  on  New  River  in  the  now  county  of  Giles,  Vir- 

Lusk  made  his  way  to  Pittsburg,  and  from  thence  to  Phila- 
delphia, where  he  accidently  met  Major  Joseph  Cloyd,  of  Back 
Creek,  and  came  home  with  him  some  time  in  October,  about 
one  month  after  his  escape  from  the  Indians  at  Chillicothe. 

It  was  related  to  the  author  several  years  ago  by  Captain  Wil- 
liam Stowers,  of  Bland  County,  Virginia,  then  a  man  above  the 
age  of  eighty  years,  but  very  intelligent,  that  he  well  remem- 
bered Mrs.  Virginia  Wiley,  who  a  number  of  years  after  her  re- 
turn from  captivity  visited  his  father's  house  on  Clear  fork  of 
Wolf  Creek  near  the  spot  where  she  was  captured,  and  that  her 
mind  was  weak,  that  in  fact  she  had  had  but  little  mind  since 
her  return  from  captivity,  and  that  he  heard  her  relate  to  his 
father  and  family  the  story  of  her  capture,  the  killing  of  her 
children  on  Cove  Creek,  her  journey  to  the  Indian  town,  and 
her  escape;  and  among  other  things,  her  conversation  with  the 
Indian  on  the  Harman  battle  field  on  Tug.  A  letter  from  Arm- 
strong Wiley  to  the  author  states  that  both  Mrs.  Wiley  and  her 

108  New  River  Settlements 

husband,    Thomas   Wiley   are   buried    in   the   Wiley   burying 
ground  at  Wiley's  Falls  in  Giles  County. 

John  Goolman  Davidson,  to  whom  reference  has  heretofore 
been  made,  had  with  his  family  resided  for  some  time  preced- 
ing his  removal  to  the  Beaver  Pond  spring  with  Richard  Bailey 
in  1780,  at  Smithfield  (Draper's  Meadows).  While  living  at 
Smithfield,  a  man  by  the  name  of  Rice  had  stolen  a  hog  from 
Davidson,  for  which  he  was  apprehended,  convicted  and  sen- 
tenced to  receive  and  did  receive  on  his  bare  back  well  laid  on 
forty  lashes,  save  one.  Rice  was  so  enraged  at  Mr.  Davidson, 
that  he  vowed  he  would  have  revenge,  if  he  had  to  bring  the  In- 
dians upon  him.  We  shall  soon  see  how  well  Rice  kept  and  per- 
formed his  vow,  and  succeeded  in  having  his  revenge,  al- 
though more  than  ten  years  had  elapsed  before  the  opportunity 
was  afforded  him. 

Mr.  Davidson  having  some  unfinished  business  at  his  former 
home  in  the  valley  of  Virginia,  Rockbridge  County,  among 
others,  the  collection  of  some  eight  hundred  dollars  due  him, 
determined  upon  a  visit  to  the  valley  to  close  up  his  business 
and  get  his  money.  As  was  not  unusual  when  some  one  was 
going  from  the  frontier  into  the  settlements,  it  was  noised 
throughout  the  neighborhood,  that  Mr.  Davidson  was  going  to 
make  the  journey.  In  the  month  of  February,  1793,  Mr.  Dav- 
idson set  out  on  horseback,  reached  his  destination  safely,  set- 
tled his  business,  collected  his  money,  and  started  on  his  way 
homeward,  having  with  him  an  extra  horse  which  he  was  lead- 
ing. He  came  over  the  usual  route  of  travel  to  Rocky  gap,  was 
seen  to  pass  south  of  that  point  by  a  family  residing  near  the 
pathway.  The  spring  of  1793  is  said  by  the  old  people  who 
then  lived,  to  have  been  the  earliest  ever  known  by  them,  the 
timber  putting  forth  its  leaves  the  first  of  March. 

Richard  Bailey,  who  has  already  been  spoken  of,  had  given 
to  his  youngest  son,  whose  name  was  Henry,  a  small  calf,  which 
had  been  turned  out  with  the  other  cattle  in  the  range  to  make 
their  living  off  the  young  twigs  and  leaves  that  had  begun  to 
shoot  forth.    The  calf  failing  to  come  up  to  the  fort  with  the 

1775-1794  109 

other  cattle  on  the  evening  of  the  eighth  day  of  March,  1793, 
Mr.  Bailey  told  his  son  that  it  might  have  gotten  mired  in  some 
swampy  land  down  the  creek,  and  that  he  must  get  up  very 
early  the  next  morning,  which  was  on  the  ninth,  and  go  look 
for  his  calf.  The  boy  rose  early,  called  his  bear  dogs,  and  set 
off  down  the  Beaver  Pond  Creek  in  the  direction  of  where  Gra- 
ham, Virginia,  is  now  situated.  Not  finding  the  calf  on  his 
outward  trip,  he  on  his  return  left  the  Buffalo  trail  and  was 
passing  up  through  the  swampy  bottom  land,  when  his  dogs 
suddenly  raised  their  bristles  as  if  they  were  about  to  engage 
in  combat  with  some  wild  animal ;  the  boy  supposing  it  was 
probably  a  wolf,  rushed  forward  to  see  the  fight,  and  looking 
along  the  path  he  saw  a  body  of  men  and  horses,  which  so 
alarmed  him,  that  he  fled  to  the  fort  and  reported  what  he  had 
seen.  An  older  brother,  Micajah,  gathered  his  rifle  and  followed 
the  party  far  enough,  to  discover  that  it  was  composed  of  a 
body  of  Indians.  He  immediately  returned  to  the  fort,  spread 
the  alarm,  and  Major  Robert  Crockett,  then  on  the  head  of 
Clinch,  gathered  a  party  of  men,  and  followed  the  Indians 
whose  camp  late  one  evening  he  discovered  on  the  large  island 
at  the  mouth  of  Island  Creek,  just  across  the  river  from  where 
now  stands  Logan  Court  House,  West  Virginia. 

After  carefully  reconnoitering  the  position.  Major  Crockett 
decided  to  have  the  men  lay  on  their  arms  that  night,  and  make 
the  attack  at  break  of  day  the  next  morning.  He  had  observed 
that  the  Indians  had  hobbled  their  horses  and  turned  them  out 
on  the  island  to  graze.  It  may  be  noted  that  this  island  con- 
tained originally,  about  one  hundred  acres,  but  after  it  was 
denuded  of  its  timber  and  put  in  cultivation,  the  soil  being  of  a 
sandy  nature,  has  by  the  effect  of  high  tides  in  the  river  been 
carried  away  until  there  remains  now  but  a  few  acres  of  what 
was  the  original  bottom. 

As  it  is  said  to  have  been,  on  the  morning  of  the  15th  of  March, 
March,  Major  Crockett  had  his  men  up  and  arranged  for  the  at- 
tack by  the  time  it  was  light  enough  to  see  an  object.  He  told  his 
men   that  the  Indians  would  be  astir  early,  that  while  some  were 

110  New  River  Settlements 

preparing  breakfast,  one  or  more  would  come  out  to  round  up 
the  horses  and  drive  them  into  camp.  His  instructions  were 
for  his  men  to  wait  for  the  horse  drivers  to  start  them  toward 
the  camp,  and  to  then  quietly  follow  them  into  camp  and  make 
the  attack,  Crockett  had  with  him  a  man  by  the  name  of  Gid 
Wright,  who  when  the  advance  began,  was  thrown  close  to  one 
of  the  Indians  engaged  in  driving  the  horses,  and  who  took  a  se- 
vere Buck  Ague  as  the  backwoodsmen  term  it,  (extreme  case  of 
nervousness),  and  without  obeying  his  orders  fired  at  the  In- 
dian missing  him,  but  alarming  the  camp,  so  that  the  whole  In- 
dian party  took  to  flight.  John  Bailey,  an  active  and  quick 
man  on  foot,  ran  close  enough  as  the  Indians  were  leaving  to 
kill  one  of  them,  the  rest  escaped,  leaving  their  breakfast  cook- 
ing, which  the  whites  appropriated,  and  the  stolen  horses,  all 
of  which  were  recovered.  Among  the  number  of  horses  cap- 
tured was  one  recognized  as  belonging  to  Mr.  Davidson,  and 
the  one  which  he  had  ridden  from  home,  and  on  which  was  his 
saddle,  witli  one  stirrup,  a  brass  one,  missing.  The  party  im- 
mediately determined  that  Mr.  Davidson  had  been  killed  by 
this  gang,  and  his  horse  taken,  and  after  eating  their  breakfast, 
and  gathering  up  the  horses  they  started  for  their  homes  and 
to  search  for  Mr.  Davidson's  body.  Samuel  Lusk  was  with 
Major  Crockett's  party,  and  on  the  return  assisted  in  the 
search  for  the  body  of  Mr.  Davidson.  So  soon  as  the  party 
reached  the  settlement,  they  sent  out  men  along  the  path  lead- 
ing through  Bailey's  gap  in  East  River  mountain,  and  on  to 
the  Laurel  fork  of  Clear  fork  of  Wolf  Creek,  and  through 
Rocky  Gap,  finding  on  the  path  on  the  mountain  a  hat  band 
recognized  as  belonging  to  Mr.  Davidson's  hat.  On  inquiry  it 
was  found,  that  Mr,  Davidson  had  passed  the  settlements  gouth 
of  Rocky  gap  before  noon  on  the  8th  day  of  March,  and  it  was 
discovered  at  an  old  waste  place  at  the  mouth  of  Clear  fork, 
that  he  had  there  fed  his  horses.  Further  investigation  at  the 
point  where  the  path  left  the  Laurel  fork  starting  up  the  moun- 
tain, evidence  appeared  of  the  blade  of  a  hatchet  having  been 
struck  into  a  white  oak  tree,  and  that  a  gun  had  rested  on  the 

1775-1794  111 

hatchet,  and  near  by  on  the  bark  of  a  beech  tree  was  freshly- 
cut  the  name  of  "Rice,"  and  under  the  root  of  the  tree  on  the 
side  of  the  creek,  where  the  water  had  washed  away  the  earth, 
the  nude  body  of  Mr.  Davidson  was  found,  so  far  advanced  in 
decomposition  it  could  not  be  removed  to  his  home,  and  was 
buried  near  by  where  it  was  found  and  where  it  still  remains. 
The  statement  by  some  writers  that  the  body  was  carried  to 
his  home  and  buried  is  incorrect  according  to  the  statements 
of  Mr.  Joseph  Davidson  and  Captain  John  A.  Davidson,  two  of 
his  great  grandsons. 

Col.  Robert  Trigg,  in  his  report  to  the  governor,  dated  on 
April  10th,  1793,  states  that  Davidson  was  killed  on  the  8th  day 
of  March  of  that  year,  and  that  there  were  twelve  Indians  in 
the  party,  who  stole  a  large  number  of  horses  and  passed 
through  the  center  of  the  Bluestone  settlement. 

Colonel  Robert  Crockett  had  reported  in  October,  1789,  to  the 
governor,  the  capture  of  Virginia  Wiley,  and  the  killing  of  her 
four  children  by  the  Indians  on  October  1st  of  that  year. 

On  October  17th,  1793,  Major  Robert  Crockett  and  fifty 
others,  among  them  Joseph  Davidson,  John  Bailey,  James  Bail- 
ey, Reuben  Bailey,  Richard  Bailey,  William  Smith  and  John 
Peery,  sent  a  petition  to  the  governor  of  Virginia,  informing 
him  of  the  defenceless  condition  of  the  border,  and  asking  for 
assistance,  and  stating  the  killing  by  the  Indians  of  John  Da- 
vidson on  the  8th  day  of  March  1793,  and  that  of  Gilbert  on  the 
24th  day  of  July  1792,  and  the  capture  of  Samuel  Lusk  at  the 
same  time. 

The  searching  party  for  Mr.  Davidson's  body  found  eviden- 
ces on  the  ground  that  satisfied  them  that  Mr.  Davidson,  had 
upon  being  shot  from  the  tree  where  the  blade  of  the  hatchet 
had  been  buried,  fallen  from  his  horse  which  took  fright  and 
ran  out  into  the  brush  and  vines  on  the  creek  bottom,  by  which 
one  of  the  brass  stirrups  had  been  pulled  off.  No  doubt  remains 
but  that  Rice  and  his  party  got  the  $800.00  which  Mr.  David- 
son had  with  him  when  killed. 

Several  years    after    the  killing  of  Mr.    Davidson,    Captain 

112  New  River  Settlements 

William  Stowers,  then  a  lad  of  some  fifteen  years,  while  plow- 
ing in  the  bottom  where  Mr.  Davidson  was  killed,  found  a 
brass  stirrup  which  was  recognized  by  the  family  of  Mr.  David- 
son as  one  belonging  to  his  saddle,  and  missing  therefrom  when 
his  horse  and  saddle  were  recovered  by  Major  Crockett  and  his 
men  on  the  15th  day  of  March,  17{)3. 

This  Indian  incursion  was  the  last  made  on  the  waters  of 
Bluestone  and  the  upper  Clinch,  but  the  troubles  continued 
for  a  short  while  thereafter  on  the  lower  Clinch  and  the  Hol- 
stein  waters  as  well  as  along  the  valley  of  the  Kanawha,  where 
the  Indians  killed  a  man  by  the  name  of  Harriman  in  the  year 
1791 ;  he  was  the  last  person  killed  in  the  valley  by  Indians. 

Davidson  and  Bailey,  the  settlers  at  the  Beaver  Pond  spring 
in  the  year  of  1780,  like  all  other  provident  settlers  who  desired 
to  secure  good  land,  each  acquired  valuable  landed  estates, 
Bailey  along  the  valley  of  the  mountain  and  around  the  head  of 
Beaver  Pond  spring,  and  Davidson  in  Wright's  Valley,  reach- 
ing from  where  the  town  of  Graham  is  now  situated  eastward 
along  the  valley  for  three  or  four  miles,  including  the  land  on 
which  the  city  of  Bluefield  is  now  located. 

So  much  alarm  and  consternation  was  created  along  the  up- 
per Kanawha,  and  lower  New  River  waters  in  the  early  part  of 
the  year  1793,  by  prowling  bands  of  Indians,  that  the  governor 
of  Virginia  ordered  a  company  of  soldiers  to  rendezvous  at 
the  mouth  of  Elk  on  the  Kanawha,  and  to  scout  through  the 
country  to  the  Ohio. 

Captain  Hugh  Caperton,  who  lived  in  Greenbrier  County,  on 
the  New  River,  and  who  was  the  uncle  of  the  younger  Hugh, 
later  of  Monroe,  was  ordered  to  raise  and  did  raise  a  company 
of  New  River  Valley  men  for  the  service  referred  to.  Captain 
Caperton  with  his  men  marched  to  the  mouth  of  Elk,  fixing  his 
camp  on  the  right  bank  of  the  river  at  its  mouth. 

The  celebrated  Daniel  Boone  was  the  commissariat  of  this 
company.  During  the  stay  of  these  men  on  the  Kanawha,  they 
guarded  the  frontier,  sending  scouting  parties  to  various  points 
along  the  Ohio  and  protected  the  settlers  then  in  the  valley, 

1775-1794  113 

ad  their  homes,  by  placing  one  or  more  men  at  each  house, 
t  this  time  there  were  but  few  settlers  in  the  valley,  among 
lem  George  Clendenin,  where  Charleston  now  stands,  Leon- 
rd  Morriss,  near  where  Brownstown  now  stands,  and  William 
'orriss  at  Kelley's  Creek.  Clendenin  had  removed  from  the 
reenbrier  section,  Leonard  and  William  Morriss  from  the 
ounty  of  Culpeper,  Virginia. 

David  Johnston,  member  of  Caperton's  company,  was  sent 
)  guard  the  house  of  Leonard  Morriss.  He  and  Morriss  came 
["iginally  from  the  same  county.  Mr.  Morriss  had  a  block 
ause  for  the  protection  of  his  family,  and  some  slaves,  among 
lem  a  negro  woman,  who  one  day,  while  Johnston  was  guard- 
ig  the  house,  went  outside  the  stockade  to  pick  up  some  wood, 
ad  was  seized  by  two  Indians  and  carried  away.  On  another 
:!casion,  Mrs.  Morriss  went  just  outside  the  gate  to  milk  her 
)w,  the  guard  accompanying  her.  He  discovered  an  Indian  a 
ttle  way  off  in  the  top  of  a  tree  endeavoring  to  get  a  view  of 
le  fort  and  its  inmates.  Mr.  Morriss  had  a  small  patch  of 
)rn  in  the  bottom  along  the  river,  which  was  about  ready  for 
jtting,  and  desiring  to  look  at  and  to  see  if  anything  was 
"oubling  it  took  Johnston,  the  guard  along  with  him;  they 
freeing  to  separate  taking  different  directions  so  as  to  get  a 
aick  view  of  the  situation  and  return,  and  further  agreeing 
lat  the  report  of  the  discharge  of  a  gun  should  be  the  signal 
)r  them  to  hasten  to  the  fort.  They  had  not  long  been  out 
ntil  the  report  of  the  discharge  of  a  gun  was  heard.  John- 
ton  reached  the  fort,  and  Mrs.  Morriss  opened  for  him  the 
ate,  which  was  immediately  closed,  supposing  Mr.  Morriss 
'^as  probably  shot,  and  that  the  Indians  would  make  a  rush 
3r  the  fort.  There  being  several  guns  in  the  fort,  Mrs.  Morriss 
aid,  "Johnston  I  will  load  and  you  shoot."  Mr.  Morriss  soon 
lade  his  aj^pearance  unhurt.  Neither  he  nor  Johnston  had 
red  their  guns,  and  after  waiting  some  time  they  ventured 
ut  again,  and  on  going  to  the  place  from  whence  came  the  re- 
port of  the  discharge  of  the  gun,  they  found  that  the  Indians 
ad  shot  a  hog  there  and  dressed  it.    These  men  of  Caperton's 

114  New  Kivbr  Settlements 

company  had  quite  a  number  of  skirmishes  with  the  Indians, 
but  no  one  was  hurt  save  one  man  killed,  who  went  across  the 
Kanawha  to  kill  a  turkey,  whose  gobble  he  had  heard.  Very 
soon  after  crossing  the  river,  the  report  of  the  discharge  of  a 
gun  was  heard,  and  soon  thereafter  the  gobble  of  the  turkey  was 
repeated;  whereupon,  another  of  the  men  remarked  that  he 
would  get  that  turkey,  and  going  a  considerable  distance  up  the 
river  he  crossed,  and  made  his  way  to  the  place  where  he  still 
heard  the  turkey,  and  on  stealthily  creeping  up,  he  discovered 
the  turkey  to  be  an  Indian  hid  in  some  sprouts  that  had  grown 
up  around  a  chestnut  stump.  He  killed  the  Indian  and  scalped 
him,  but  found  the  Indian  had  first  killed  the  other  man  and 
scalped  him. 

Captain  Caperton  and  Daniel  Boone,  his  commissariat,  had  a 
difficulty,  and  Boone  left  the  camp,  and  was  absent  for  some 
time.  Some  of  the  scouting  parties  met  with  him  at  the  mouth 
of  the  Kanawha,  and  told  him  of  the  necessities  of  the  company 
and  that  they  needed  food,  and  enquired  of  him  why  he  had 
gone  off  and  left  them;  he  replied,  "Caperton  didn't  do  to  my 

The  following  are  the  names  of  the  men  who  belonged  to 
Caperton's  company,  and  were  with  him  on  the  Kanawha  in 

Samuel  Henderson  James  Keely 

Mathias  Meadows  George  Lake 

Isaac  Cole  John  Conner 

John  Cooke  John  Burton 

Edward  Farley  Drewry  Farley 

William  Smith  Thomas  Cooke 

William  Lee  Robert  Lee 

William  Graham  Andrew  Johnston 

James  Montgomery  John  Garrison 

William  Stowers  Travis  Stowers 

Andrew  Hatfield  Jonas  Hatfield 

John  Rowe  David  Marshall 

Francis  Farley  Isaac  Smith 

1775-1794  115 

David  Johnston  Moses  Massey 

Henry  Massey      '  James  Graham 

David  French  David  Graham 

Matthew  Farley  James  Sweeney 

Felix  Williams  Joseph  Canterbury 

James  Stuart  John  Scott 

James  Abbott  Noell 

Patrick  Wilson  Isaiah  Calloway  . 

John  Lewis  William  Wilson 

Joseph  Abbott  George  Abbott 

On  the  20th  of  August,  1794,  General  Wayne  won  his  cele- 
brated victory  over  the  Indians,  at  Fallen  Timbers  in  what  is 
now  Lucas  County,  Ohio.  This  defeat  completely  broke  the 
Indian  power  in  the  Ohio  Valley,  and  a  treaty  of  peace  was 
soon  after  made,  which  gave  perfect  quiet  to  all  the  border  set- 
tlements, at  least  south  of  the  Ohio,  and  perfect  peace  reigned 
supreme  for  the  first  time  in  forty  years.  No  sooner  was  the 
news  of  Wayne's  victory  received  on  the  Virginia  border,  than 
the  whole  country  north  and  west  of  the  settlements,  swarmed 
with  surveyors  and  land  speculators.  Nearly  if  not  quite  the 
whole  of  the  territory  south  of  the  Kanawha  and  the  Ohio  to 
the  head  waters  of  Holstein,  were  entered,  surveyed,  and  car- 
ried into  grant. 

Robert  Morris,  the  patriot  and  financier  of  the  American 
revolution,  secured  grants  for  about  eight  millions  of  acres  of 
land.  The  territory  comprised  within  the  now  counties  of 
Mercer,  Raleigh,  Fayette,  McDowell,  Wyoming,  Boone,  Logan, 
Mingo,  Wayne.  Cabell,  Lincoln,  Kanawha  and  Putnam  were 
almost  completely  shingled  over  with  these  large  grants,  and 
frequently  they  lapped  upon  each  other.  Commencing  on  the 
East  River  Mountain,  on  the  south  side,  and  then  again  on  the 
north  side,  were  two  grants  to  Robert  Pollard,  one  for  50,000 
and  the  other  for  75,000  acres,  then  came  the  grant  of  80,000 
acres  to  Samuel  M.  Hopkins,  a  grant  of  50,000  acres  to  Robert 
Young,  40,000  acres  to  McLaughlin,  170,000  acres  to  Moore 
and  Beckley,  35,500  acres  to  Robert  McCullock,  108,000  acres 

116  New  River  Settlements 

to  Rutter  and  Etting,  90,000   acres   to   Welch  150,000 

acres  DeWitt  Clinton,  50,000  acres  to  Doctor  John  Dillon,  480,- 
000  acres  to  Robert  Morris,  500,000  acres  to  the  same,  150,000 
acres  to  Robert  Pollard,  500,000  acres  to  Wilson  Carey  Nich- 
olas, 300,000  acres  to  the  same,  320,000  acres  to  Robert  Morris, 
57,000  acres  to  Thomas  Wilson,  40,000  acres  to  George  Pickett, 
and  farther  down  Sandy,  Guyandotte  and  Coal  Rivers  were 
large  grants  to  Elijah  Wood,  Smith  and  others. 

Peace  having  been  restored  along  the  frontier  settlements, 
and  no  further  danger  being  apprehended  from  the  Indians, 
there  was  a  great  rush  of  the  people,  not  only  from  Eastern 
Virginia  and  Western  North  Carolina  on  to  the  New  River 
waters,  and  on  to  Kentuck}-,  but  there  was  a  vast  throng  of 
people  from  the  New  River  Valley,  that  quickly  penetrated  the 
country  between  the  New  River  settlements  and  the  Ohio,  and 
settled  on  the  Sandy,  Guyandotte  and  Coal  River  waters,  even 
reaching  to  the  Ohio;  among  them,  the  McComas',  Chapmans, 
Lucas',  Smiths,  Coopers,  Napiers,  Hunters,  Adkins,  Acords, 
Aliens,  Fryes,  Dingess,  Lusks,  Shannons,  Baileys,  Jarrells, 
Egglestons,  Fergusons,  Marcums,  Hatflelds,  Bromflelds,  Hald- 
rons,  Lamberts,  Pauleys,  Lawsons,  Workmans,  Prices,  Cookes, 
Clays,  Godbeys,  Huffs,  McDonalds,  Whites,  Farleys,  Kezees, 
Perdues,  Ballards,  Barretts,  Tonej's,  Conleys,  Stollings,  Strat- 
ons,  Buchanans,  Deskins,  and  many  others,  who  largely  peo- 
pled, and  left  honored  descendants  throughout  the  section 



When  these  people  left  their  homes  for  new  ones  in  the  wil- 
derness, they  took  with  them  the  manners  and  customs  of  the 
people  among  vv'hom  they  had  lived,  and  upon  their  settling 
down  in  their  adopted  abode  made  such  changes  in  these  man- 
ners and  customs  as  their  new  situation,  surroundings  and  ne- 
cessities required.  It  often  happened  that  the  new  emigrant  on 
selecting  his  proposed  future  home,  found  himself  very  far  re- 

1775-1794  117 

moved  from  any  one  he  called  neighbor.  From  whence  he  re- 
moved, he  was  occasionally  honored  with  a  visit  of  his  friends 
and  neighbors,  who  could  come  and  go  without  hinderance  or 
fear  of  molestation.  In  this  wilderness  country  he  must  travel 
with  his  trusted  rifle,  even  as  against  wild  beast  that  filled  the 
forest.  Later  on,  after  the  country  had  began  to  settle  up,  new 
comers  were  joyfully  received,  and  the  young  people  on  hear- 
ing of  the  approach  of  the  new  people  coming  to  the  neighbor- 
hood, would  often  go  a  day's  journey  in  order  to  meet  and 
welcome  them.  The  young  women  would  make  this  trip  bare- 
foot, with  their  dresses  so  short  they  reached  but  little  below 
their  knees. 

A  wedding  was  always  a  time  of  high  glee.  Usually  the 
groom  and  his  friends  rode  horseback  to  the  house  of  the  bride's 
father,  where  there  was  generally  plenty  of  applejack,  and 
every  body  would  take  a  drink,  even  the  ministers  of  that  day 
thought  it  nothing  a.  miss  for  them  to  take  a  toddy.  At  the 
bride's  house  and  ceremony  performed,  came  the  dinner,  after 
which  the  fiddling  and  the  dancing,  the  songs  and  plays  among 
the  young  folks  of  "Old  Sister  Phoebe,"  would  begin : 

"I'll  put  this  hat  on  your  head  to  keep  your  head  warm, 
I'll  give  you  a  sweet  kiss,  'twill  do  you  no  harm." 

The  neighbors  soon  gathered,  chopped  logs  and  erected  a 
house  for  the  young  couple.  At  a  log  rolling  and  house  raising 
there  was  generally  a  quilting,  and  at  night  a  dance.  It  was 
no  easy  matter  for  the  young  people,  who  wished  to  get  mar- 
ried to  procure  the  license,  for  as  a  rule  they  lived  a  long  dis- 
tance from  the  clerk's  oflSce.  For  many  years  after  the  forma- 
tion of  Giles  County,  it  was  the  habit  of  Captain  John  Mc- 
Claugherty,  who  was  both  deputy  clerk  and  deputy  sheriff  of 
that  county,  to  go  once,  and  occasionally  twice  a  year  down  on 
to  the  waters  of  the  Coal  and  Guyandotte,  either  to  collect 
taxes  or  to  serve  process,  and  he  made  it  a  rule  to  fill  his  pock- 
et with  blank  licenses,  in  order  to  accommodate  the  young  peo- 
ple, who  had  always  to  put  off"  their  weddings  until  the  Captain 
put  in  his  appearance,  and  when  he  did,   it  was   soon   noised 

118  New  River  Settlements 

abroad  and  the  young  men  about  to  be  married  hurried  to  the 
Captain  to  get  the  necessary  papers. 

There  were  no  schools  in  that  day,  and  but  few  boys  learned 
even  to  read  or  write.  Afterwards,  if  a  school  teacher  came 
into  the  neighborhood  and  was  employed  to  teach  school,  he 
usually  boarded  around  among  the  families;  that  is,  after  set- 
tlements had  progressed  far  enough  for  him  to  do  this.  Each 
family  was  largely  a  little  independent  colony  of  itself.  The 
father  and  sons  worked  with  mattock,  axe,  hoe,  and  sickle.  A 
loom  in  every  house  was  a  necessity,  and  almost  every  woman 
was  a  weaver,  and  wove  the  linsey-woolsey  made  from  flax  cul- 
tivated by  her  own  hands,  and  from  the  wool  of  sheep — when 
they  had  any.  The  man  tanned  or  dressed  the  buck  skin,  the 
woman  was  the  tailor  and  shoemaker,  made  the  deer  skin  sif- 
ters to  be  used  instead  of  bolting  cloths.  For  the  table  ware  gen- 
erally wooden  trenchers,  platters,  noggins,  and  bowls.  The 
cradle  of  pealed  hickory  bark  or  a  sugar  trough,  and  plow- 
shares were  made  of  wood,  chaff  beds  if  the  man  had  been  for- 
tunate enough  to  raise  any  small  grain,  otherwise  leaves  were 
substituted.  Then  there  was  the  hand  mill,  and  the  hominy 
block  with  a  hole  burned  in  the  top  as  a  mortar  where  the  pestle 
was  worked.  Some  times  a  gritting  board  was  used,  and  later 
a  pounding  mill  was  invented  which  was  operated  by  water  in- 
stead of  muscle.  For  sugar  resort  was  had  by  tapping  the  su- 
gar maple  trees,  and  boiling  down  the  water.  Salt  and  iron 
could  not  be  had  in  the  backwoods,  and  each  family  gathered 
ui)  its  furs  and  peltries,  and  later  ginseng,  which  were  carried 
out  on  horses  to  some  coast  town,  and  exchanged  for  salt 
and  iron.  Some,  among  them  Captain  James  Moore  of  Abb's 
Valley,  raised  considerable  number  of  horses,  which  they  drove 
to  the  markets  east  of  the  Alleghanies. 

It  was  no  common  thing  at  that  time,  for  a  man  on  the 
New  Eiver  waters  to  drive  a  two  year  old  steer  to  Fincastle 
and  exchange  the  same  for  a  bushel  of  salt,  and  bring  it  back 
on  a  pack  horse.  Their  horses  were  usually  unshod.  Captain 
William  T.  Moore,  of  Abb's  Valley,  told  of  a  horse  that  the  In- 

1775-1794  119 

dians  had  taken  from  his  Grandfather,  James  Moore,  but  which 
had  been  recovered,  and  which  he  had  plowed,  and  which  lived 
to  the  age  of  thirty  five  years,  and  never  had  a  shoe  on  its  foot. 

After  the  backwoodsman  had  gotten  to  raising  hogs,  for  at 
the  beginning  he  could  not  do  so  on  account  of  the  bears  de- 
stroying them,  he  would  drive  his  hogs  to  market,  selling  and 
exchanging  them  for  needed  articles  at  home.  The  life  of  these 
people  was  a  long  and  dangerous  struggle,  they  had  to  fell  the 
forests,  encounter  the  forest  fires,  deep  snows  and  freshets. 
Swarms  of  deer  flies  and  midges  rendered  life  a  torment  in 
warm  weather.  Rattlesnakes  and  copperheads  were  plentiful, 
and  constant  sources  of  danger  and  death.  For  an  antidote  for 
tlie  bite  of  a  poisonous  serpent  bear's  oil  was  freely  applied, 
and  some  times  salt,  when  they  had  it.  Wolves  and  bears  were 
inveterate  foes  of  the  live  stock,  and  the  panther  occasionally 
attacked  a  man.  In  the  early  settlement  of  the  country  near 
the  mouth  of  Wolf  Creek  in  what  is  now  Giles  County,  the  dogs 
of  Mr.  Landon  Duncan  drove  a  panther  up  a  tree.  Mr.  Duncan 
being  from  home,  his  wife  took  his  rifle  gun  and  shot  and  killed 
the  animal ;  it  measured  nine  feet  in  length.  Every  backwoods- 
man was  a  hunter,  and  the  forests  were  filled  with  deer,  tur- 
keys and  pigeons,  and  out  of  these  and  the  bear,  buffalo  and 
elk  he  made  not  only  his  meat,  but  largely  his  living.  The 
black  and  grey  squirrels  were  very  numerous,  sometimes  de- 
stroying fields  of  corn,  and  at  times  in  immense  companies 
would  migrate,  and  cross  mountains  and  rivers.  A  race  of  men 
unused  to  war  and  ever  present  dangers,  would  have  been  help- 
less before  such  foes  as  these  wild  beasts  and  the  Indians. 

People  coming  from  the  old  world,  no  matter  how  thrifty 
and  adventurous,  could  not  hold  their  own  on  the  frontier. 
They  had  to  seek  protection  from  the  Indians  by  a  bold  living 
wall  of  American  backwoodsmen.  These  border  men  were  hunt- 
ers, wood  choppers,  farmers  and  soldiers.  They  built  and  man- 
ned their  own  forts,  did  their  own  fighting  in  their  own  way 
under  their  own  commanders,  when  they  had  such,  but  general- 
ly every  man  was  his  own  commander.    There  were  no  regular 

120  New  River  Settlements 

troops  along  the  frontier,  and  if  the  Indians  came  into  the 
country,  each  border  man  had  to  defend  himself,  until  there 
was  time  to  arouse  the  country'  and  gather  help  to  repel  the  foe. 
Every  man  from  his  childhood  wag  accustomed  to  the  use  of  the 
rifle,  and  even  a  bo}-  at  twelve  years  was  regarded  old  enough 
to  have  a  gun,  and  was  soon  taught  how  to  use  it.  He  at  least 
could  make  a  good  fort  soldier.  The  war  was  never  ending,  for 
even  the  times  of  so-called  peace  were  broken  by  forays  and 
murders.  A  man  might  grow  from  boyhood  to  middle  age  on 
the  border,  and  yet  never  recall  a  single  year  in  which  some  of 
his  neighbors  were  not  killed  by  the  Indians.  As  the  settle- 
ments continued  to  grow  they  each  had  their  various  officers, 
who  in  fact  exercised  but  little  authority,  as  they  had  no  way 
of  enforcing  orders,  and  all  services  rendered  were  merely  vol- 

When  a  group  of  families  moved  out  into  the  wilderness,  for 
protection  they  would  build  for  themselves  a  block  house  or 
stockade,  a  square  palisade  of  upright  logs,  and  looped  it  with 
port  holes,  with  a  large  gate  that  could  be  strongly  barred  in 
case  of  necessity.  This  fort  or  stockade  was  generally  safe 
from  any  attack  the  savages  might  make  upon  it,  unless  they 
could  take  it  by  surprise.  This  backwoodsman  was  generallj- 
an  American  by  birth  and  parentage,  and  of  mixed  race,  but 
the  dominant  strain  in  their  blood  was  that  of  the  Scotch-Irish, 
so  called.  The  Irish  Presbyterians  were  themselves  already  a 
mixed  people,  though  mainly  from  Scotch  ancestors,  who 
came  originally  from  both  lowlands  and  highlands,  for  among 
both  were  Scotch  Saxons  and  Scotch  Celts.  From  this  Scotch- 
Irish  stock,  came  David  Crockett,  (1)  John  Robertson,  Andrew 
Lewis,  Andrew  Jackson,  Samuel  Houston,  the  Prestons,  Cum- 
mings,  Johnstons,  Shelbys,  Campbells,  Grahams,  Banes,  Gil- 
lespies,  Georges,  McDonalds,  McKensey  and  McComas'. 

No  great  number  of  them  came  to  America  prior  to  1730,  but 

(1).     David  Crockett  is  said  to  have  learned  the  hatter's  trade  at 
Christiansbui'g,  Virginia. 

1775-1794  121 

hy  which  time  they  came  by  multitudes;  (2)  for  the  most  part, 
in  two  streams ;  the  larger  to  Philadelphia,  tlie  lesser  to  Charles- 
ton, South  Carolina.  Those  from  Philadelphia  soon  made  their 
way  southwest  into  the  valley  of  Virginia  and  to  the  Piedmont 
region ;  while  those  from  Charleston  soon  pushed  their  way  up 
to  the  mountains,  and  with  those  in  Virginia  became  the  ad- 
vanced posts  of  civilization.  They  were  wholly  a  different  peo- 
ple in  manners,  customs  and  temperament  from  the  people  of 
the  tidewater  region,  in  which  there  was  a  large  admixture  of 
Germans  from  Pennsylvania,  especially  so  in  the  Virginia  Val- 
ley. Some  of  this  German  population  came  across  the  Alle- 
ghanies,  and  settled  in  part,  in  what  is  now  Montgomery  Coun- 
ty, and  in  the  eastern  portion  of  what  is  now  Giles  County, 
among  them  the  Kinsers,  Bargers,  Highbarges,  Shufflebargers, 
Hornbargers,  Phlegars,  Sibolds,  Surfaces,  Snidows,  Straleys, 
Boltons,  Clyburns,  Noslers,  Decks.  Millers,  Honakers,  Keisters, 
Croys,  Worleys  and  Woolwines.  There  came  also  some  of  the 
Scotch-Irish  people  into  the  same  territory,  among  them  the 
McDonalds,  Blacks,  McKenseys,  Johnstons,  Christians,  Pres- 
ton,s  Craigs,  Triggs,  McGavocks,  Wileys,  and  Whitakers.  (3) 
Some  Hugenots  also  came  into  the  territory  of  what  is  now 
Giles  County,  among  them  the  Pearis'  Hares  and  DeCamps; 
and  in  the  same  territory  came  some  Hollanders,  among  them, 
the  Lybrooks  (Leibroch),  Mosers,  Walls,  Decks  and  Douthats.. 
Most  of  tliese  people  brought  with  them  their  Bibles,  which  was 
as  a  usual  thing  the  guide  of  their  lives,  and  although  they  at 
first  had  but  few,  if  any  ministers  among  them,  yet  as  a  rule 
they  were  religiously  inclined,  many  of  them  coming  from 
countries  where  they  had  been  taught  religious  principles,  but 
those  coming  direct  from  the  old  world  did  not  comprehend 
what  religious  freedom  and  soul  liberty  meant  in  its  fullest 
sense  and  its  fullest  extent,  until  they  reached  the  wilderness 
country,  where  every  man  could  worship  God  according  to  the 
dictates  of  his  own  conscience.    They  had  no  church  buildings, 

(2).     Roosevelt's  "Winning  of  the  West." 

(3).     The  Willeys  and  Whittakers  came  from  North  Carolina. 

122  New  River  Settlements 

but  gathered  in  the  groves,  "God's  first  temples"  and  in  dwell- 
ing houses  to  have  worship. 

Captain  James  Moore,  and  also  Zechariah  Muusey,  grand- 
father of  the  distinguished  William  E.  Munsey,  were  christian 
men  and  had  worship  in  their  families.  Munsey  was  an  early 
Methodist  Preacher. 

The  first  preachers  that  came  into  the  wilderness  country,  and 
in  fact  all  who  came  up  to  a  period  long  after  the  close  of  the 
American  Revolution,  were  Dissenters,  who  found  perfect  free- 
dom in  the  wilderness  from  molestation,  interruption  or  ar- 
rest. The  nearest  church  of  England  man  to  this  wilderness 
country  for  many  long,  long  years,  was  located  at  Fincastle, 
but  so  far  as  known  he  never  ventured  across  the  Alleghanies. 
Among  the  first,  if  not  the  very  first,  preachers  of  the  Gospel 
that  ever  stood  on  or  reached  the  banks  of  the  New  River  were 
the  two  who  accompanied  Lewis'  Sandy  expedition  in  1756. 
and  whose  names  were  Brown  and  Craig.  (4)  The  first  minister 
to  permanently  locate  in  this  wilderness  section,  was  the  distin- 
guished and  learned  Presbyterian,  Charles  Cummings,  who 
came  to  a  place  near  the  present  town  of  Abingdon  in  1772. 
Six  years  thereafter  came  Elder  Tidence  Lane,  a  Baptist  Min- 
ister who  is  believed  to  have  founded  the  Baptist  church  at  St. 
Clair's  bottom  in  1777  or  1778,  and  who  organized  two  churches 
on  the  Holstein  waters,  one  on  Buffalo  ridge  six  miles  east  of 
Jonesboro,  and  Cherokee  Baptist  church  four  miles  east  of 
Jonesboro,  both  now  in  Tennessee.  In  1773  came  Squire 
Boone  from  the  Yadkin  in  North  Carolina,  and  whether  he  was 
regularly  ordained  Baptist  Minister  or  not,  he  at  least 
preached  the  Gospel.  He  spent  the  winter  of  17734  in  Castle's 
woods,  now  in  Russell  County.  A  little  later  came  James  Ab- 
bott, a  Baptist  Minister  from  Culpeper  County,  to  the  New 
River  section.  And  in  1777  came  John  Alderson,  a  Baptist 
Minister  from  the  Valley  of  Virginia,  and  located  on  Green- 
brier River,  and  a  little  later  came  a  Mr.  Johnston,  Baptist 
preacher  who  subsequently  went  to  the  Kanawha  Valley,  and 

(4).     They  were  Presbyterian  ministers  from  the  Valley. 

1775-1794  12 


then  on  to  Kentucky.  Later  still  came  Josiali  Osborn,  Lewis 
Alderson  and  James  Ellison,  all  Baptist  Ministers  who  located 
in  the  Greenbrier  section. 

The  early  Baptist  preachers,  in  southwest  Virginia,  were  El- 
ders Jonathan  IMulkey,  Andrew  Baker,  Edward  Kelley,  Bar- 

nett  Reynolds,  John  Bundridge,  Colley,  Jesse  Senter, 

and Edwards.  In  the  year  of  1788-  came  the  Rev.  Fran- 
cis Asbury,  the  first  Methodist  Bishop  of  America.  He  rein- 
vigorated  the  itinerant  system,  and  sent  missionaries  into 
wide  ranges  of  country  to  preach  and  found  new  societies. 
And  it  is  said  of  him  that  in  1785  he  laid  the  foundation  for 
the  first  Methodist  College  in  America,  and  organized  many  so- 
cieties throughout  the  country.  There  were  practically  no 
church  buildings  in  the  wilderness  in  the  days  of  Bishop  As- 
bury and  other  early  preachers;  now  the  country  is  dotted 
over  with  numerous  church  buildings  of  nearly  all  religious 

Landon  Duncan,  born  in  Fauquier  County,  Virginia,  re- 
moved from  thence  to  Stokes  County,  North  Carolina,  and 
from  there  to  what  is  now  Giles  County,  about  the  close  of  the 
18th  century,  became  a  Baptist  preacher  of  the  order  of  New 
Lights,  but  in  1818  changed  his  views,  and  united  with  the  fol- 
lowers of  those  who  adopted  the  doctrines  taught  afterwards  by 
Alexander  Campbell.  Mr.  Duncan  was  an  earnest,  faithful 
preacher  during  the  greater  part  of  his  life,  which  ended  about 
18G7.  For  many  years  of  his  young  life  he  was  a  school  teacher, 
having  among  his  pupils  the  late  General  John  B.  Floyd,  and 
others  who  became  prominent  in  their  day.  Mr.  Duncan  was 
for  many  years,  the  Commissioner  of  the  Revenue  for  Giles 

Except  in  portions  of  Greenbrier,  Monroe,  Montgomery  and 
Tazewell,  Presbyterianism  had  but  little  footing  for  many 
years.  Methodism  seemed  to  be  well  adapted  to  the  soil,  and 
took  root  quickly,  sprang  up  and  grew  vigorously.  Among 
some  of  the  early  preachers  of  that  denomination  was  Rev. 
George  Eaken,  an  Irishman,  and  most  usually  called  ''Father 

124  New  River  Settlements 

Eaken ;"  quaint  and  i)eculiar  was  his  stj'le.  There  was  held  in 
the  days  of  Methodism  in  its  early  beginnings  in  this  section, 
near  the  residence  of  the  late  Colonel  John  S.  Carr,  in  what  is 
now  Mercer  County,  a  campmeeting,  which  Father  Eaken  at- 
tended jear  by  year.  Of  those  who  came  to  the  meeting,  as 
regularly  as  the  meeting  was  held,  were  people  of  the  country, 
known  and  designated  as  "Todds,"  and  so  designated  on  ac- 
count of  their  foxey  and  frolicking  disposition,  That  is  they 
Avere  drinkers,  fighters,  gamblers,  horse  racers  and  wits  gen- 
erally. These  Todds  always  got  happy  at  campmeeting,  and 
usually  professed  to  have  gotten  religion.  Father  Eaken  was 
an  observant  man,  and  having  seen  these  same  people  engaged 
in  drinking  and  general  carousal  shortly  after  the  close  of  the 
meeting,  he  prepared  himself  for  them  at  the  next  and  while 
the  meeting  was  well  under  way  the  Todds  in  a  good  way 
shouting,  he  suddenly  arose,  and  cried  out  in  a  loud  voice, 
''Would  that  the  good  Lord  would  take  a  liking  to  these  Todds 
just  now,  for  if  they  ever  get  to  heaven  it  will  be  from  a  camp- 
meeting." The  distinguished  William  G.  Brownlow  was  once 
in  the  County  of  Tazewell  and  preached  at  Bluestone.  Among 
the  early  Methodist  Ministers  who  were  highly  esteemed 
in  this  section  of  the  country  were  Thomas  K.  Catlett  and  Ja- 
cob Brillhart.  The  Metliodist  had  class  leaders  and  exhorters, 
among  the  latter  was  one  Abraham  Garretson,  who  lived  on 
the  East  River  and  whose  custom  was  to  go  on  the  Sabbath 
into  the  different  neighborhoods  in  what  is  now  Mercer  Coun- 
ty and  exhort.  Garretson  had  a  neighbor  by  the  name  of 
Blankenship,  who  though  not  a  christian,  yet  a  constant  at- 
tendant at  his  Sunday  Exhortations  and  who  always  took  his 
position  near  the  speaker  and  during  the  service  frequently 
said  "Amen !  Amen !" 

On  an  early  Sunday  morning  in  the  month  of  March,  Mr, 
Blankenship  rose  early,  and  went  out  to  feed  his  cow  prepara- 
tory to  be  off  to  brother  Garretson's  meeting  that  day,  to  be 
held  at  a  neighbor's.  With  Mr.  Blankenship  to  feed  his  cow  went 
his  dog,  which  ran  a  raccoon  up  a  tree,  which  Mr.  Blankenship 

1775-1794  125 

captured  and  took  to  his  house,  stripped  off  its  hide,  and  while 
engaged  in  stretching  the  same  on  the  side  of  his  cabin  there 
rode  by  in  the  direction  of  where  Mr.  Garretson  wa^  to  hold  his 
meeting  a  Mr.  Elijah  Peters,  a  Magistrate  of  the  County.  Mr. 
Blankenship  hurried  up  his  work,  got  his  breakfast,  took  a 
shave  and  put  off  for  the  meeting.  Mr.  Garretson's  subject  for 
the  occasion,  was  the  violation  of  the  Sabbath,  working  on 
Sunday;  going  "coon  hunting."  Mr.  Blankenship  squirmed 
and  twisted  as  the  speaker  earnestly  told  his  hearers  of  these 
various  Sunday  violations  till  finally  Mr.  Blankenship  being 
impressed  with  the  thought  that  Squire  Peters  had  told  Mr. 
Garretson  that  he  had  been  coon  hunting  on  Sunday,  deter- 
mined that  he  would  stand  the  scourging  no  longer,  and  rising 
from  his  seat  and  addressing  the  speaker  said,  "Brother  Gar- 
retson, who  told  you  I  went  coon  hunting  on  Sunday?"  To 
which  Garretson  replied :  "My  Lord  and  Master,"  whereupon 
Mr.  Blankenship  said  in  a  loud  voice:  "Well  Brother  Garret- 
son if  Squire  Elijah  Peters  is  your  Lord  and  Master,  mark  my 
name  off  of  your  book." 

Zechariah  Munsey  was  of  a  family  of  French  extraction, 
lived  in  Giles  County,  and  Avas  a  local  Methodist  Preacher, 
and  went  into  various  neighborhoods  and  held  meetings.  He 
was  a  peculiar,  eccentric  man  with  a  strange  drawling  voice. 
In  the  early  days,  one  of  his  preaching  places  was  at  Mechan- 
icsburg,  a  small  hamlet  on  Walker's  Creek.  In  his  congrega- 
tion at  this  place  were  a  number  of  young  people  who  often 
became  amused  at  his  quaint  and  peculiar  expressions  and 
were  often  led  into  laughter  thereby.  Mr.  Munsey  had 
frequently  reprimanded  them,  and  on  one  occasion  their  con- 
duct so  disturbed  him  that  it  called  forth  the  following  utter- 
ance from  him :  "No  young  gentleman  nor  young  lady  prop- 
erly trained  will  misbehave  at  Divine  service,  and  you  are  in 
the  habit  of  doing  this,  and  if  the  people  of  Mechanicsburg  had 
their  just  dues,  they  would  have  been  dead  and  in  hell  forty 
years  ago;  it's  the  truth  and  you  know  its  the  truth." 

David  Munsey,  the  father  of  the  distinguished  William  E. 

126  New  River  Settlements 

Munsey  was  a  son  of  Zechariah,  aud  was  also  a  Methodist 
Preacher,  William  E.  Munsey  spent  a  part  of  his  young  life  in 
or  near  that  wild,  rough  section  of  Giles  County  known  as  Dis- 
mal. Rough  as  herein  referred  to  means  mountainous  and  thin- 
ly settled.  At  a  campmeeting  held  at  Wabash  in  the  year  of 
1866  or  1867,  William  E,  Munsey  preached  on  Sunday  at  11 
o'clock  a,  m,,  on  the  subject  of'Hell  and  the  Lost  Soul."  A 
large  and  attentive  audience  heard  him,  among  the  number. 
Captain  John  A.  Pack,  who  always  had  a  vein  of  fine  humor 
and  wit.  Captain  Pack  walked  up  to  where  was  standing  a 
small  group  of  his  acquaintances  and  friends,  and  inquired  if 
they  knew  why  Mr.  Munsey  had  such  clear  conception  of  Hell. 
Some  one  inquired  why,  to  which  the  Captain  made  answer, 
"because  he  was  raised  up  on  Dismal," 

Of  this  Munsey  family  there  were  several  preachers,  a  doc- 
tor and  two  or  more  lawyers.  The  preachers  were  Zechariah, 
Nathaniel,  David,  and  William  E,,  the  lawyers,  Thomas  J, 
Munsey  and  Thomas  J,  Munsey,  Jr.,  and  Doctor  Munsey,  a 
physician  of  note,  who  resides  at  Pearisburg,  Virginia, 

Among  the  most  remarkable  eccentric,  i||ftinerant,  yet  local 
Methodist  preachers  that  ever  lived  in  the  New  River  Valley, 
was  Robert  Sawyers  Shetfey,  who  was  born  in  the  county  of 
Wythe,  Virginia,  July  4,  1820,  and  died  in  Giles  County,  Vir- 
ginia, in  1902.  He  was  a  son  of  Henry  Sheffey,  of  Wythe,  and 
came  into  the  New  River  Valley  some  time  in  1859,  where  he 
married  for  his  second  wife  a  Miss  Stafiiord  in  what  is  common- 
ly known  as  Irish  settlement,  in  Giles  County,  where  Mr.  Shef- 
fey located.  For  reasons  of  his  own,  he  never  united  with  the 
Conference,  but  continued  throughout  his  career  as  an  itiner- 
ant, going  from  place  to  place,  and  wheresoever  his  inclina- 
tions led  him.  He  was  eccentric  beyond  description.  That 
he  was  a  pious  devout  christian  and  Godly  man  was  never 
doubted.  He  was  a  man  of  wonderful  faith  in  God,  and  was 
usually  most  eloquent  in  iiublic  prayer.  When  troubles  and 
difficulties  surrounded  him  his  oft  repeated  statement  was, 
"I'll  go  and  talk  to  the  Lord  about  it."    One  thing  about  this 

1775-1794  127 

good  man  which  was  most  remarkable,  that  bis  prayers  for  spe- 
cific things  were  not  only  not  in  vain,  but  what  he  asked  the 
Lord  for,  he  in  some  way  or  some  how  always  seemed  to  receive 
it  So  often  were  his  prayers  answered,  and  his  highest  hopes 
and  aspirations  gratified,  that  people  who  knew  him  well  and 
were  disposed  to  do  evil  things  were  frequenly  alarmed  for  fear 
he  would  call  down  vengeance  from  heaven  upon  their  guilty 
heads,  and  many  believed  that  if  he  should  ask  the  Lord  to 
smite  them  with  pestilence  or  death  it  would  be  done.  The  ec- 
centricities of  this  man  led  numbers  of  people  to  express 
doubts  as  to  his  sanity.  Some  of  these  expressions  reached 
Mr.  Sheffey,  and  he  often  publicly  repeated  what  he  had  heard, 
and  his  only  comment  thereon  was,  "Would  to  the  Lord  they 
were  crazy  on  the  same  subject  that  I  am." 

Many  and  interesting  are  the  stories  and  anecdotes  told  of 
this  preacher  and  of  his  conduct;  some  of  which  will  here  be 
related,  and  from  which  it  will  appear  that  while  his  eccen- 
tricities often  appear  therein,  yet  the  great  and  strong  faith  of 
the  man  is  also  exhibited.  Twenty-five  or  more  years  ago  Mr. 
Sheffey  had  a  regular  preaching  place  on  East  River  in  Mer- 
cer County,  near  the  residence  of  Mr.  Anderson  Tiller,  at  whose 
house,  when  in  the  neighborhood,  he  made  his  stopping  place, 
and  where  he  was  always  carefully  looked  after  and  enter- 
tained. It  was  known  that  Mr.  Sheffey  was  exceedingly  fond 
of  sweet  things,  and  especially  of  honey.  On  an  occasion,  when 
on  a  preaching  tour,  he  went  to  fill  his  appointment  on  East 
River,  and  became  as  was  usual  the  guest  of  his  brother,  Tiller. 
Being  on  a  Sunday  morning  and  late  in  the  summer  season  and 
while  at  the  breakfast  table,  Mr.  Tiller  remarked  to  Mr.  Shef- 
fey that  he  regretted  that  he  had  no  honey  for  him,  that  his 
bees  had  done  no  good,  had  not  swarmed  and  that  he  feared 
they  had  frozen  out  in  the  winter  or  that  some  insect  had  de- 
stroyed them,  and  that  the  season  was  too  far  spent  to  have  any 
swarms.  Mr.  Sheffey  arose  from  the  table  and  went  down  up- 
on his  knees,  and  told  the  Lord  that  the  brother's  bees  had  not 
swarmed,  and  that  there  was  no  honey  in  the  house,  and  he 

128  New  River  Settlements 

implored  the  Lord  to  have  the  bees  swarm.  Scarcely  had 
his  petition  ceased  when  the  swarms  came  with  such  rapidity 
that  Mr.  Tiller  was  unable  to  procure  rapidly  enough  sufficient 
gums  to  save  the  swarms.  The  truth  of  the  incident  is  vouch- 
ed for  by  the  best  people  in  the  neighborhood  of  where  it  oc- 
curred, and  Mrs.  James  R.  White  the  daughter  of  Mr.  Tiller, 
and  who  still  lives,  and  who  was  at  home  unmarried  at  the  hap- 
pening of  the  incident,  vouches  for  the  truthfulness  of 
the  story. 

At  a  meeting  being  held  by  Mr.  Sheffey  at  Jordan's  Chapel, 
now  in  Summers  County,  Dr.  Bray,  a  physician  in  the  neigh- 
borhood, together  with  his  wife,  was  present  at  Sunday  morn- 
ing service  and  had  with  them  a  nursing  infant  child,  which 
was  taken  suddenly  ill  about  the  close  of  the  service.  The 
mother  became  alarmed  and  grief  stricken  about  the  condition 
of  her  child,  and  in  her  paro:^sms  she  cried  out  that  her  child 
was  dying.  A  large  number  of  people  were  present  and  gath- 
ered around  the  mother  and  child  supposed  to  be  dying,  when 
Mr.  Sheffey  appeared  and  being  informed  of  the  cause  of  the 
trouble,  said,  "Brother,  give  me  the  little  child,"  and  taking  it 
in  his  arms  he  fell  upon  his  knees,  and  in  a  most  earnest  pray- 
er to  God  asked  for  the  life  of  the  little  child  and  that  it 
might  be  restored  to  its  mother.  Arising  from  his  position  on 
the  ground,  he  handed  the  child  to  its  father,  remarking,  ''here 
brother  is  your  little  child  well  and  all  right;"  and  so  it  was. 

Mr.  Sheffey  had  a  right  good  vein  of  humor  In  his  makeup, 
and  he  occasionally  exercised  that  faculty  to  the  discomfiture 
of  people.  Some  thirty  years  ago,  there  lived  on  the  upper 
waters  of  Brush  Creek,  a  christian  gentleman  by  the  name  of 
Robert  Karr,  a  member  of  the  Methodist  Church,  at  whose 
house  Mr.  Sheffey  was  entertained,  when  on  his  preaching 
tours  in  that  neighborhood.  He  had  a  protracted  service  in 
the  neighborhood  of  Mr.  Karr,  which  had  continued  some 
weeks,  and  which  Mr.  Karr  had  not  attended,  and  whose  non- 
attendance  Mr.  Shert'ey  had  observed,  and  taking  his  brother 
Karr  to  task  about  his  want  of  interest  in  the  meeting,  enquir- 

1775-1704  129 

ed  why  he  did  not  attend ;  Mr.  Karr  replied  that  he  had  a  good 
reason,  and  being  pressed  by  Mr.  Shelfey  to  give  his  reason, 
he  finally  said,  "Well,  I  don't  just  exactly  like  your  way;" 
whereupon  Mr.  Sheffey  with  a  ha !  ha !  said,  "Neither  does  the 

On  the  occasion  last  mentioned  or  a  similar  one,  while  Mr. 
Sheflfey  was  holding  a  meeting  at  Mr.  Karr's,  early  one  Sunday 
morning,  a  young  man  rode  up  to  the  house  and  delivered  to 
Mr.  Sheffey  a  message  from  his  wife  that  his  little  son,  Eddy, 
was  very  sick,  and  that  the  doctors  had  said  he  could  not  live 
and  for  him  to  come  home  at  once.  Mr.  Sheffey  made  no  re- 
sponse to  the  message,  but  went  off  a  distance  to  some  high 
granite  boulders  on  the  top  of  the  highest  of  which  he  went  to 
the  Lord  in  prayer,  and  continued  to  pray  until  the  time  had 
arrived  for  him  to  meet  his  congregation  at  the  church.  On 
reaching  the  pulpit,  he  related  to  his  congregation  the  message 
he  had  received,  and  then  said,  "I  have  talked  to  the  Lord 
about  this,  and  Eddy  is  not  going  to  die."  Eddy  still  lives,  a 
bright,  intelligent,  useful  and  honored  citizen. 

Mr.  Sheffey  had  wonderful  faith  in  God's  providences,  his 
care  for  his  people  in  providing  for  their  wants,  physical  as 
well  as  spiritual.  It  is  told  of  him  that  on  one  occasion  he  met 
a  man  in  the  road  on  a  very  cold  day,  and  that  the  man  had  on 
no  socks,  and  that  Mr.  Sheffey  observing  this  took  off  his  and 
gave  them  to  the  man.  After  riding  some  distance  he  stopped 
at  a  house  to  warm  his  feet,  and  that  the  lady  of  the  house  said 
to  him  that  she  had  knit  for  him  some  nice  pairs  of  socks  which 
she  wished  to  present  him.  Another  thing  may  be  mentioned 
of  this  man,  and  that  was  the  tender  care  of  his  horse  and  of 
other  animals.  He  could  not  bear  to  see  them  suffer,  not  even 
a  bug  if  turned  on  its  back,  and  he  has  been  known  to  dis- 
mount from  his  horse  and  turn  it  over.  If  he  found  what  ap- 
peared to  him  to  be  a  hungry  animal  or  dog,  he  would  give  it 
his  lunch  rather  than  eat  it  himself.  The  story  is  told  of  him 
and  another  preacher  who  were  out  in  some  wild  mountain  dis- 
trict, that  on  leaving  the  house  where  they  had  been  entertain- 

130  New  River  Settlements 

ed,  the  woman  put  a  lunch  in  Mr.  Shefifey's  saddle-bags  telling 
them  that  they  were  not  likely  to  meet  with  their  dinner, 
that  day,  and  that  she  had  provided  a  lunch  that  they  might  not 
suffer  from  hunger.  Off  the  preachers  went  on  along  the  moun- 
tain pathway  during  the  morning  hours  and  until  about  noon, 
when  Mr,  Sheffey's  companion  who  being  in  front  halted,  and 
proposed  to  eat  the  lunch.  Mr.  Sheffey  informed  him  that  he 
had  no  lunch,  that  he  had  just  met  two  very  hungry  looking 
dogs  to  which  he  had  given  the  lunch. 

If  there  was  a  man  beyond  any  other  that  believed  that  the 
whiskey  traffic  was  one  of  the  Devil's  strongholds  it  was  Mr. 
Sheffey.  He  assailed  this  traffic  when  opportunity  offered  and 
often  in  public  prayed  for  its  overthrow  and  destruction.  He 
was  often  appealed  to  by  good  people  to  pray  the  Lord  to  re- 
move stillhouses  and  liquor  manufactures.  On  the  upper  wa- 
ters of  the  Bluestone,  many  years  ago,  was  a  whiskey  distillery 
operated  by  a  man  and  his  son.  Mr.  Sheffey  stopped  in  the 
neigliborhood  at  the  home  of  a  good  Methodist  family.  The 
good  woman  of  the  house  told  him  of  this  distillery,  and  that 
it  was  ruining  and  wrecking  the  lives  of  many  of  the  young 
men  in  the  neighborhood,  and  requested  him  to  pray  for  its  re- 
moval, which  he  promised  to  do.  The  lady  inquired  "how  long 
will  it  be  before  we  may  expect  our  prayers  to  be  answered;" 
"about  twelve  months,"  was  his  reply ;  and  sure  enough  within 
the  twelve  months  the.  distillery  was  closed  up,  and  the  owner 
and  his  son  in  jail  on  charge  of  defrauding  the  government. 

On  another  occasion  he  was  on  Wolf  Creek,  near  Rocky  gap, 
when  he  was  informed  by  the  mother  of  a  family  with  whom  he 
was  stopping  of  the  existence  of  a  distillery  in  the  neighbor- 
hood that  was  proving  a  great  evil  and  requested  Mr.  Sheffey  to 
pray  for  its  removal.  Mr.  Sheffey  then  and  there  went  to  the 
Lord  in  prayer,  and  asked  Him  to  destroy  the  evil,  and  if  nec- 
essary send  fire  from  Heaven  to  burn  it  up,  and  that  very  night 
an  old  dry  tree  near  the  distillery  took  fire,  fell  on  the  shanty 
and  destroyed  the  whole  thing.    The  whole  neighborhood  firm- 

1775-1794  131 

ly  believed  Sheffey's  prayer  brought  down  that  fire,  which  rid 
the  neighborhood  of  the  evil. 

As  has  already  been  stated,  Mr,  Sheffey  went  to  the  Lord 
about  everything  he  did,  even  about  small  things,  which  some- 
times brought  him  into  ridicule  by  some  classes  of  people,  but 
that  did  not  in  the  least  deter  him.    He  believed  that  the  Lord 
controlled  the  actions  of  animals  as  well  as  men,  and  in  veri- 
fication and  illustration  thereof  the  following  story  is  told  by 
a  gentlemen  living  a  few  miles  south  of  Pearisburg,  Virginia. 
Mr.  Sheffey  stopped  at  his  house  over  night,  and  by  Mr.  Shef- 
fey's direction  his  horse  was  turned  on  pasture.     Mr.  Sheffey 
having  an  appointment  for  the  next  day,  and  anxious  to  get  off 
early  requested  the  gentleman  to  have  his  horse  ready  for  him. 
The  man  went  out  very  early  to  get  the  horse  which  he  was  un- 
able to  do,  even  summoning  help,  still  the  horse  would  not  al- 
low himself  to  be  caught,  nor  would  he  be  driven  into  the  stable 
yard  or  lot.    Finally  the  man  gave  up  the  effort  to  secure  the 
horse,  went  to  the  house  and  informed  Mr.  Sheffey  of  the  situa- 
tion, and  he  went  out  with  the  man  into  the  field  where  the 
horse  was  grazing,  and  requested  the  man  to  wait  until  he  told 
the  Lord  about  it.    Down  upon  his  knees  he  went  and  told  the 
Lord  of  the  inability  of  the  man  to  bridle  the  horse  and  re- 
quested that  He  put  it  into  the  mind  of  the  horse  to  stand  and 
be  bridled,  and  on  rising  from  his  knees  he  said  to  the  man 
"you  can  now  bridle  the  horse,"  which  he  immediately  did. 
Many  other  such  things  occurred  in  the  history  of  this  man, 
which  for  want  of  space  cannot  here  be  related ;  there  is  how- 
ever, just  one  other  incident  of  his  life  which  will  be  related,  as 
it  shows  that  he  was  a  man  whose  religion  was  pure  and  unde- 
filed  and  near  akin  to  that  of  our  blessed  Saviour.     Mr.  Sheffey's 
hostility  and  open  expression  against  the  liquor  traffic  and  the 
traffickers,  often  brought  down  upon  him,  not  only  the  curses 
and  imprecations  of  these  people,  but  once  at  least,  a  pounding 
upon  his  head.    He  was  preaching  in  Bland  County,  and  dur- 
ing the  service  was  interrupted  by  some  unthoughted  young 
men  under  the  influence  of  ardent  spirits,  which  led  to  their  se- 

132  New  Kiver  Settlements 

vere  censure  and  arraignment  by  the  preacher,  which  so  offend- 
ed and  enraged  them  tliat  they  took  position  at  the  outside  of 
the  church  door,  and  as  Mr.  Sheffey  went  out  they  clubbed  and 
beat  him  severel3\  These  people  were  indicted  in  the  Court  of 
Bland  County,  and  Mr.  Sheffey  summoned  as  a  witness  for  the 
Commonwealth.  He  did  not  appear,  and  compulsory  i)rocess 
was  taken  against  him,  and  on  his  appearance  in  Court  he  en- 
deavored to  avoid  testifying.  The  young  men  were  convicted, 
when  Mr.  Sheffev  with  tears  in  his  eves,  and  a  i)raver  on  his 
lips  implored  the  court  to  allow  them  to  go  unpunished,  that 
they  knew  not  what  they  did;  that  he  had  forgiven  them, 
that  he  had  asked  the  Lord  to  forgive  them,  and  now 
asked  the  Court  to  forgive  them,  which  in  a  measure  it 
did.  Whatever  may  be  said  of  this  peculiar  man  and  his  ec- 
centricities, his  like  will  never  be  seen  again.  He  died  in  peace 
with  God  and  man,  and  all  who  knew  him  revere  his  memory. 



Marriages,  by  whom  celebrated  prior  to  the  passage  of  Toler- 
ation Acts— Real  civilization  begun — Monroe  County  cre- 
ated, its  boundaries,  brief,  history  of — Formation  of  Taze- 
well County,  its  boundaries,  brief  history  of — Formation 
of  Giles  County,  its  boundaries,  and  brief  history  thereof. 

As  has  already  been  noticed,  the  early  preachers  who  came 
across  the  Alleghanies,  were  Dissenters,  and  not  authorized  by 
law  to  celebrate  marriages,  and  therefore  all  marriages  solemn- 
ized by  these  Ministers  were  by  law  illegal,  but  by  subsequent 
acts  of  the  Legislature  such  marriages  were  not  only  legalized, 
but  certain  acts  were  passed  authorizing  a  limited  number  of 
these  Dissenters  to  celebrate  the  rites  of  matrimony. 

After  the  close  of  the  Indian  wars  in  1794  the  country  not 
only  filled  up  rapidly,  but  real  civilization  began  in  earnest, 

1795-1886  133 

the  people  built  houses,  opened  farms  and  roads,  elected  offi- 
cers, prepared  and  carried  on  civil  government  without  hinder- 
ance  or  molestation. 

The  people  living  along  the  New  River  to  the  northeast  there- 
of and  north  of  the  Narrows  of  said  river,  in  what  is  now  Giles 
County,  were  inhabitants  of  Greenbrier  County  and  lived  many 
miles  from  Lewisburg,  their  county  town.  They  therefore  de- 
termined to  apply  for  the  creation  of  a  new  county,  and  by 
an  act  of  the  Legislature  of  Virginia  passed  January  14th, 
1799,  the  County  of  Monroe  was  created  out  of  the  territory  of 
Greenbrier,  with  the  following  boundaries  as  set  forth  in  the 
said  Act,  viz:  "Beginning  where  the  ridge  dividing  the  east- 
ern from  the  western  waters  joins  Peter's  Mountain,  and  with 
said  eastern  ridge  to  the  ridge  which  divides  Howard's  and  Sec- 
ond Creek,  thence  with  the  said  ridge  westwardly,  including 
the  waters  of  Second  Creek  to  the  Wagon  road  at  Robert 
Knox's,  thence  with  the  said  creek  to  Thomas  Nichols'  Spring 
branch,  thence  a  straight  line  to  Alderson's  ferry  landing  on 
Greenbrier  River,  thence  down  the  said  river  to  the  mouth  of 
Muddy  Creek,  thence  crossing  the  same  to  the  ridge  which  di- 
vides the  waters  of  Muddy  Creek  and  GriflSth's  run,  and  with 
the  said  ridge  to  Keeney's  Knobs  and  with  said  Knobs,  includ- 
ing the  waters  flowing  into  Greenbrier  River  to  New  River,  and 
up  the  same  to  where  it  breaks  through  Peter's  Mountain, 
thence  with  said  mountain  an  east  course  to  the  beginning." 

From  Lewis'  History  of  West  Virginia  the  following  infor- 
mation is  given  concerning  the  organization  of  said  county. 
"At  one  mile  east  of  the  present  town  of  Union  at  the  house  of 
George  King  on  the  21st  day  of  May,  1799,  the  first  County 
Court  was  held.  William  Hutchinson,  James  Alexander,  Isaac 
Estill,  William  Haynes,  John  Hutchinson,  John  Gray,  John 
Byrnside,  William  Graham,  James  Hanley,  and  William  Vaw- 
ter  holding  commissions  from  the  governor  of  Virginia,  com- 
posed the  members  of  the  first  court.  John  Hutchison  was  ap- 
pointed clerk,  and  John  Woodyard  Commonwealth's  Attorney. 
Isaac  Estill  having  been  by  the  Governor  commissioned  as  sher- 

134  New  River  Settlements 

iff,  entered  into  bond  as  sueli,  with  James  Alexander,  William 
Haynes,  and  John  Byrnside  as  his  bondsmen.  John  Byrnside 
was  recommended  for  appointment  as  surveyor  of  lands.  John 
Arbuckle  was  appointed  Deputy  Sheriff. 

The  second  day  of  the  term  was  taken  up  largely  in  putting 
the  military  establishment  on  a  proper  footing,  whereuj)on 
James  Graham  was  recommended  for  appointment  as  Colonel 
for  the  county;  John  Hutchinson  and  John  Hanley  for  Majors; 
and  for  Captains,  Isaac  Estill,  John  Byrnside.  James  Jones, 
Robert  Nickel,  William  Graham,  Samuel  Clark,  Henry  McDan- 
iel,  and  Watt  Farley.  For  Lieutenants,  Nimrod  Tackett,  John 
Hanley,  Jr.,  George  Swope,  James  Gray,  William  Maddy,  Da- 
vid Graham,  Tollison  Shumate,  and  Thomas  Wyatt;  and  for 
Ensigns,  Alexander  Dunlap,  Charles  Keenan,  James  Young, 
James  Byrnside.  James  Miller,  James  Gwin,  James  Thompson, 
and  John  Harvey. 

James  Graham  was  recommended  for  appointment  as  Coro- 
ner, and  Thomas  Lowe,  Robert  Dunbar,  John  Cottrell,  William 
Dison,  George  Foster,  Enos  Halstead,  and  Joshua  Lewis  were 
appointed  Constables. 

On  the  19th  day  of  May,  1800,  Honorable  Archibald  Stew- 
art, Judge  of  the  District  composed  of  the  counties  of  Green- 
brier, Botetourt,  Montgomery,  Kanawha,  and  Monroe  held  the 
first  court  for  the  county,  at  Sweet  Springs.  John  Skinner  was 
appointed  to  prosecute  for  the  Commonwealth,  and  Samuel 
Dew  to  discharge  the  duties  of  clerk. 

A  grand  jury  was  empaneled,  composed  of  William  Royal, 
foreman,  Dennis  Cochran,  John  Matthews,  Samuel  Todd,  Hugh 
Caperton,  Joseph  Snodgrass,  Isaac  Snodgrass,  William  How- 
ell, John  Peck,  Joseph  Cloyd,  (the  latter  two  citizens  of  Giles 
County,)  John  Lewis,  William  Vawter,  Jacob  Persinger,  John 
Byrnside,  and  James  Byrnside.  Two  indictments  found  at  the 
term,  parties  tried  same  terra  and  acquitted. 

The  second  term  of  the  court  held  at  the  same  place  on  the 
18th  day  of  October,  1800,  at  which  Judge  Paul  Carrington 

1795-1836  135 

In  1799,  the  County  Court  selected  the  present  site  Union, 
for  the  County  town  on  twenty-five  acres  of  land  the  property 
of  James  Alexander,  and  was  laid  off  into  lots  and  streets,  and 
the  same  was  subsequently,  to  wit:  January  1800,  established 
as  a  town  by  the  General  Assembly,  and  William  Haynes,  John 
Gray,  John  Byrnside,  James  Hanley,  Michael  Erskine,  John 
Hutchison,  and  Isaac  Estill  constituted  trustees  thereof." 

The  territory  now  embraced  in  Monroe  County  was  visited  by 
white  people  as  early  as  1760.  John  Alderson  and  William 
Morris  visited  the  county  about  1777.  Christian  Peters,  an 
American  Soldier,  who  served  in  General  LaFayette's  Corps  at 
Yorktown,  came  to  what  is  now  Peterstown  in  1783.  In  the 
year  of  1770,  came  the  Manns,  Cooks,  Millers,  Alexanders, 
Nickels,  Campbells.  Dunsmores,  Hokes,  Lakes,  Calloways, 
Sweeneys,  Haynes,  Ermines-  Grahams,  and  Hutchinsons,  large- 
ly from  the  Virginia  Valley. 

The  early  history  of  this  people  is  the  same  substantially  as 
those  of  the  Greenbrier  and  New  River  Valleys,  which  has  al- 
ready been  given  in  this  volume. 

The  military  history  of  the  people  of  Monroe  is  in  a  measure 
written  in  the  chapter  devoted  to  that  subject  in  this  volume, 
as  her  citizen  soldiers  served  largely  with  the  New  River  Val- 
ley men,  with  the  exception  of  one  company,  which  was  led  to 
the  war  by  Captain  Hugh  Snidow  Tiffany,  who  fell  in  the  first 
battle  of  Manasses.  His  company  belonged  to  the  27th  Vir- 
ginia Regiment  of  the  Stonewall  brigade. 

In  both  civil  and  military  life,  Monroe  has  furnished  a  num- 
ber of  distinguished  men,  among  them  Hugh  Caperton,  An- 
drew Beirne.  Allen  T.  Caperton,  A.  A.  Chapman,  John  Echols, 
Frank  Hereford,  John  M.  Rowan,  Judge  A.  N.  Campbell,  Rev. 
J.  P.  Campbell,  and  others. 

Among  her  valued  citizens,  are  Campbells,  Hansbargers, 
Swopes,  Johnsons,  Johnstons,  Symns,  Clarks,  Ballards,  Flesh- 
mans.  Pecks,  Aldersons,  Nickels,  Rowans,  Becketts,  McClaugh- 
ertys,  Osborns,  Harveys,  Fences,  Adairs,  Packs,  Thrashers, 
Karnes,  Spanglers,  Shanklins,  Vawters,  and  numerous  others. 

136  New  River  Settlements 

Its  population  is  steady,industrious,  and  as  little  crime  is  com- 
mitted in  the  county  of  Monroe  as  any  county  in  the  state. 

Adam  Mann,  Jacob  Mann,  and  others  as  early  as  the  year 
1770,  built  a  fort  on  Indian  Creek,  some  ten  miles  west  from 
the  present  town  of  Union.  The  Cooks,  also  built  a  fort  on  In- 
dian Creek  some  three  miles  from  its  mouth. 

This  Maun  family  was  of  English  origin — from  Kent.  They 
came  at  an  early  day  to  America,  and  that  branch  of  the  fami- 
ly, the  ancestor  of  the  present  New  River  Valley  families  of 
that  name  was  William,  who  settled  in  Augusta  in  1778.  It  is  a 
numerous  family,  some  of  them  attained  to  prominence  in  the 
revolutionary,  border  and  civil  wars.  From  Mann  MS.  it  ap- 
pears, that  two  of  this  family,  Thomas  and  William,  were  sol- 
diers on  the  Ohio  at  fort  Randolph  shortly  after  the  battle  of 
Point  Pleasant,  and  while  there,  on  the  south  side  of  the  Ka- 
nawha, appeared  one  Simon  Girty,  who  gave  to  Thomas  and 
William  Mann  the  sign  of  distress,  and  urged  them  to  cross  for 
him  as  he  was  pursued  by  the  Indians;  yielding  to  his  en- 
treaties, they  with  others  crossed  the  river  in  a  canoe,  and  as 
they  approached  the  shore  a  party  of  Indians  in  hiding  fired 
upon  them,  killing  Thomas  Mann,  and  badly  wounding  Wil- 
liam, who  escaped  but  died  in  what  is  now  Fayette  County, 
while  trying  to  make  his  way  to  Donnally's  Fort,  in  Greenbrier 
(Mann  MS.).  Of  this  family  are  Isaac  T.  and  Edwin  Mann, 
prominent  and  successful  business  men  of  Mercer  County.  Mr. 
James  E.  Mann  of  this  same  family,  a  most  useful,  intelligei't 
citizen,  and  successful  financier  lived  for  a  number  of  years  in 
the  city  of  Bluefield,  where  his  widow  and  children  still  reside. 
Mr.  Mann  died  a  few  years  ago,  a  highly  respected  and  es- 
teemed citizen. 

The  territory  of  Tazewell  County  as  it  formerly  and  now  ex- 
ists, has  a  history  much  in  common  with  that  of  the  Counties 
of  Monroe,  Giles  and  Mercer.  It  is  not  intended  in  thip,  work 
to  do  more  than  give  a  general  outline  history  of  this  county, 
for  to  write  it  in  full  and  that  of  its  people  would  within  itself 
fill  a  volume.    So  far  as  can  be  ascertained,  with  anything  like 

1795-1836  137 

accuracy,  the  first  white  man  that  put  his  foot  on  the  soil  of 
this  county,  was  the  man  Castle  hunting  with  the  Indians  in 
what  is  now  known  as  the  Castle's  wood  section,  now  in  Russell 
County;  and  the  second  white  man  in  the  territory  referred  to 
was  the  hunter  Clinche.  These  two  men  traversed  ihe  Clinch 
Valley  section  prior  to  1749  and  from  the  latter  the  river 
Clinch  took  its  name,  as  hereinbefore  related. 

The  next  in  order  was  Doctor  Thomas  Walker  of  Albemarle, 
and  his  companions  Ambrose  Powell  and  others,  who  in  1750, 
traversed  the  ridge  country,  a  few  miles  north  of  the  present 
town  of  Tazewell,  passing  the  site  of  the  present  town  of  Poca- 
hontas, and  following  the  Water  Shed  dividing  the  waters  of 
Bluestone,  Sandy,  Guyandotte,  and  Piney,  to  the  New  River 
near  where  the  town  of  Hinton,  in  Summers  County,  is  lo- 

According  to  Summers'  History  So.  W.  Va.,  Christopher 
Gist,  agent  for  the  Ohio  Company,  on  his  return  from  the  Ken- 
tucky section  and  the  Ohio  River,  in  1751,  came  through  what  is 
now  the  county  of  Wise,  giving  name  to  a  river,  Gist's,  and  a 
station  where  he  camped,  called  Gist's  Station.  (1)  He  also 
passed  along  the  Water  Shed  above  referred  to. 

In  the  year  of  1753,  James  Burke  and  stepson,  Morris  Grif- 
fith were  in  what  is  now  known  as  Burke's  Garden,  situated  in 
the  south-eastern  part  of  this  county.  Burke  was  one  of  the 
Draper's  Meadow  Settlers,  who  crossed  the  Alleghanies  in 
1748  and  made  settlement  near  the  present  town  of  Blacksburg 
in  Montgomery  County.  His  adventurous  disposition  and  love 
of  the  forest  led  him  to  the  vicinity  of  the  spot  called  Burke's 
Garden,  into  which,  through  the  gap  since  known  as  Hanshue's. 
he  followed  the  Elk  which  he  had  wounded. 

The  evidence  is  not  only  persuasive,  but  may  be  regarded  as 
conclusive,  that  Burke  removed  with  his  family  from  Draper's 
Meadows  into  this  beautiful  land  in  the  year  of  1754.  He  had 
cleared  out  some  land,  and  in  the  spring  of  1755  had  planted  a 
crop  of  potatoes  which  were  found  in  the  ground  unharvested 

(1).     Now,  Coburn,  in  Wise  County,  Virginia. 

138  New  River  Settlements 

by  Lewis'  men  in  February,  1756.  Colonel  Preston  in  his  Jour- 
nal, describing  Burke's  Garden  says  among  other  things  that 
the  soldiers  gathered  potatoes  in  the  waste  plantations;  there- 
fore it  is  certain  that  in  February,  1756,  the  place  was  known  as 
Burke's  Garden,  and  that  there  were  potatoes  found  there  in 
''Waste  Plantations."  Again  it  is  true,  that  neither  Burke  nor 
his  family  were  at  Draper's  Meadows  on  the  8th  day  of  July, 
1755,  when  the  settlers  were  attacked  by  the  Indians,  captured 
or  destroyed,  as  no  mention  is  made  of  Burke  or  his  family, 
while  all  others  are  accounted  for,  and  we  see  from  Preston's 
Journal,  that  Lewis'  men  met  Burke  west  of  New  River  in  Feb- 
uary.  1756,  hence  it  appears  as  most  likely  and  no  doubt  true, 
that  Burke  for  fear  of  tlie  savages  left  Burke's  Garden  with  his 
family  in  the  fall  of  1755,  and  the  tradition  that  the  Indians 
followed  him  to  Sharon  Springs  is  no  doubt  correct.  At  any 
rate  Burke  discovered  a  magnificent  body  of  most  valuable 
land  which  was  appropriated  by  other  people. 

Major  Andrew  Lewis  with  about  340  men  on  his  way  to  the 
Ohio,  in  February,  1756,  passed  through  the  territory  of  Taze- 
well, camping  in  Burke's  Garden,  and  on  the  head  waters  of 
the  Clinch,  and  from  there  passed  over  the  eastern  and  north 
ern  branches  of  that  stream  near  by  or  through  the  farm  owned 
by  the  late  William  G.  Mustard,  Esq.,  and  thence  on  to  Horse- 
pen  Creek  of  Jacob's  Fork  of  Tug  of  Sandy.  We  hear  nothing 
from  1756  to  1766  of  any  white  people  in  the  territory  of  the 
county ;  this  is  accounted  for  from  the  fact  that  the  French  and 
Indian  war  was  occurring  during  this  period,  and  in  fact  did 
not  end  on  the  border  until  the  year  of  1765,  after  Johnson's 
Treaty — the  result  of  Bouquet's  expedition  into  Ohio  that  yeu. 

It  appears  from  Bickley's  History  of  Tazewell,  that  two  men, 
Butler  and  Carr  with  others  from  about  Carr's  or  Kerr's  Creek 
in  the  Rockbridge  country,  were  in  this  territory  about  the 
head  waters  of  the  Clinch  in  1766,  engaged  in  hunting  and 
trapping,  and  that  all  of  said  hunting  party,  except  Butler  and 
Carr,  left  on  the  close  of  tlie  hunting  season. 

Butler  and  Carr  erected  them  a  hunter's  cabin  at  the  Crab 

1795-1836  139 

Orchard,  about  three  or  four  miles  west  of  the  present  Court 
House  of  Tazewell.  In  the  spring  of  1767  they  opened  up  a 
small  field  and  planted  a  small  crop  of  corn,  the  seed  of  which 
they  obtained  from  the  Cherokee  Indians,  and  a  new  supply 
of  ammunition  of  another  company  of  hunters  that  came  out  to 
hunt  with  them. 

The  territory  of  Tazewell,  very  much  like  that  of  Kentucky, 
was  a  kind  of  middle  ground  between  the  northern  and  south- 
ern Indian  tribes,  between  whom  a  war  was  waging  in  17f!>6, 
and  which  was  not  finally  ended  until  about  the  beginning  of 

As  stated  by  Bickley,  in  the  early  summer  of  1768,  a  band  of 
Cherokee  warriors  camped  near  the  cabin  of  Butler  and  Carr; 
they  had  come  to  spend  the  season  in  hunting  around  and  near 
the  Lick.  Very  soon  there  appeared  a  large  body  of  Shawnees, 
men  and  women.  These  had  long  been  open  and  deadly  ene- 
mies, and  could  not  long  remain  near  each  other  on  terms  of 
peace.  The  Shawnees  ordered  the  Cherokees  to  evacuate'  and 
to  look  for  other  hunting  ground.  This  orc'ior,  Ihe  latter  re- 
fused to  obey,  and  took  position  on  the  top  of  Rich  Mountain, 
which  they  fortified  with  rude  breastworks.  The  Shawnees  at- 
tacked that  evening,  and  continued  the  battle  on  the  next  day; 
Butler  and  Carr  furnishing  the  Cherokees  with  ammunition. 
The  Shawnees  were  forced  to  retire,  retreating  to  the  head  of 
what  is  now  known  as  Abb's  Valley,  and  there  on  the  farm 
owned  by  the  late  Jonathan  Smith,  erected  a  rude  stone  fort, 
which  stood  until  a  few  years  ago.  The  place  where  they  built 
this  fort  is  the  gateway  to  the  head  of  the  Tug  fork  of  Sandy; 
the  latter  one  of  the  highway*  when  on  their  way  out  and  re- 
turn from  incursions  into  the  white  settlements  along  the  up- 
per waters  of  the  Clinch  and  the  Bluestone.  The  dead  left  on 
the  battlefield  were  buried  in  one  common  grave,  and  shortly 
the  Cherokees  departed  for  their  homes  in  the  south,  leaving 
Butler  and  Carr  lords  of  all  tliey  surveyed. 

Peace  and  quiet  being  restored,  Butler  and  Carr  separated, 
the  latter  making    settlements  on  the  Clinch    about  two  milea 

140  New  Kiveu  Settlemexts 

east  of  the  present  county  town,  while  Butler  seems  to  have  re- 
moved near  the  Elk  Lick.  IMore  hunters  coming  out,  and  return- 
ing witii  glowing  descriptions  of  the  country,  induced  others 
desiring  to  make  permanent  settlements  in  this  new  wilderness 
country,  to  emigrate  hither. 

In  the  spring  of  1771  came  Thomas,  James  and  Jerry  Witten 
(1)  and  John  Greenup,  the  former  from  the  Fredericktown  sec- 
tion of  Maryland,  Thomas  settled  at  the  Crab  Orchard,  pur- 
chasing Butler's  claim,  whatever  that  was,  but  there  were  none 
to  dispute  it. 

James  Witten  and  John  Greenup  settled  on  the  Clinch  near 
where  Pisgah  Church  now  stands,  and  Jerry  Witten  settled  on 
Plum  Creek.  On  the  authority  of  James  R.  Witten  it  is  stated 
that  a  son  of  this  John  Greenup  became  governor  of  Kentucky. 

In  this  same  year  of  1771  Absalom  Looney,  from  Looney's 
Creek  in  the  Virginia  Valley,  made  his  way  into  the  section  of 
this  county  now  known  as  Abb's  Valley,  where  he  hunted  and 
trapped  for  three  or  four  years,  having  a  cave  near  what  is  now 
Moore's  Memorial  Church,  as  his  hiding  place  and  refuge  from 
the  savages  and  wild  beasts. 

Looney,  on  returning  to  Looney's  Creek,  met  Captain  James 
Moore,  and  so  impressed  him  by  his  description  of  this  wonder- 
ful valley  which  he  had  discovered  as  to  induce  Moore  to  make 
a  journey  to  see  it.  The  statement  that  Captain  James  Moore 
settled  in  Abb's  Valley  in  1772  is  incorrect,  for  more  reasons 
than  one.  Moore  had  gone  from  the  valley  to  the  Alamance  in 
North  Carolina,  to  join  his  countrymen  (the  Scots),  in  their 
struggle  against  the  tyranny  of  Governor  Tyron,  and  having 
united  with  the  Regulators,  was  in  the  battle  of  the  Alamance 
fought  on  the  lOth  day  of  May,  1771,  in  which  the  Regulators 
were  defeated  and  scattered  by  the  forces  of  Governor  Tyron. 
Captain  ^loore  returned  to  his  home  on  Moore's  Creek  in  the 
Virginia  Valley,  now  in  Rockbridge  County,  where  he  remained 

(1).  The  Wittens  first  halted  at  a  large  spring  on  Walker's  Creek, 
near  where  the  late  William  B.  Allen  resided,  in  what  is  now  Giles 
County,  where  they  remained  for  one  year  before  moving  to  the  Clinch. 

1795-1836  141 

until  1775,  when  he  raised  a  company  of  valley  men,  and  march- 
ed at  their  head,  joining  General  Washington's  army  then  en- 
gaged in  the  seige  of  Boston.  It  was  at  the  head  of  this  com- 
pany of  volunteers  that  he  won  his  iitle  of  captain,  lie  and  iiis 
men  had  entered  the  service  for  one  year,  upon  the  expiration 
of  which  they  returned  to  their  homes.  Their  return  was  in 
1776,  and  there  is  no  evidence  to  be  found  that  Captain  Moore 
visited  the  territory  of  Tazewell  prior  to  1776,  but  in  the  fall  of 
that  year  he  came  to  spy  out  the  land  and  prepared  for  the  re- 
moval of  his  family,  which  took  place  the  next  year,  together 
with  the  family  of  his  brother-in-law  Poague. 

Prior  to  the  year  of  1776  one  Peter  Wright,  an  old  hunter, 
had  traversed  the  valley  known  since  his  day  as  Wright's  Val- 
ley, which  no  doubt  led  him  into  the  present  territory  of  Taze- 
well County. 

In  the  year  of  1772  Mathias  Harman,  and  his  brothers  Jacob 
and  Henry,  settled  at  Carr's  on  the  Clinch,  John  Craven  in  the 
Cove,  Joseph  Martin,  John  Henry,  and  James  King  in  Thomp- 
son's Valley,  and  John  Bradshaw  in  the  valley  two  miles  west 
of  the  present  county  town.  The  Harmans  came  from  North 

In  1772  William  Wynn,  John  Taylor  and  Jesse  Evans  settled 
on  the  upper  Clinch  waters,  and  Thomas  Marshall,  Benjamine 
Joslin,  James  Ogleton,  Peter  Harman  and  Samuel  Ferguson  on 
the  upper  Bluestone,  William  Butler  on  the  south  branch  of  the 
north  fork  of  Clinch  above  Wynn's.  William  Webb  about  three 
miles  east  of  the  present  Court  House,  Elisha  Clary  near  But- 
ler, John  Ridgel  on  the  Clear  fork  of  Wolf  Creek,  Reece  Bowen 
at  Maiden  Spring,  David  Ward  in  the  Cove,  and  William  Gar- 
retson  at  the  foot  of  Morris'  Knob. 

Of  the  people  who  came  in  1772  Thomas  Maxwell,  Samuel 
Ferguson  and  the  Peerys,  who  were  in  the  battle  of  the  Ala- 
mance, came  from  the  Virginia  Valley,  Reece  Bowen  from  Bote- 
tourt, near  where  Roanoke  city  now  stands.  He  was  from  west- 
ern  Maryland,  William  Garretson  from  Culpepper  county,  from 

142  New  River  Settlements 

which  the  Wheatleys  came  about  the  same  time,  settling  near 
the  spot  where  Captain  C.  A.  Fudge  now  resides. 

Thomas,  John  and  William  Peery  settled  where  the  present 
town  of  Tazewell  is  now  located,  and  John  Peery,  jr.  at  the  fork 
of  Clinch  one  and  one  half  miles  east  of  the  present  county  site. 
In  the  meantime  a  number  of  settlers,  among  them  the  Scaggs, 
Richard  Peimberton,  Johnson,  JRoark,  and  jothers  settled  In  Bap- 
tist Valley,  and  Thomas  Mastin,  William  Patterson,  and  John 
Deskins  farther  west  in  the  same  valley,  Richard  Oney  and  Oba- 
diah  Paine  in  what  is  now  known  as  Deskin's  Valley. 

Thomas  Ingles,  son  of  Captain  William  Ingles  of  Draper's 
Meadows,  settled  in  1778,  in  what  is  now  known  as  W^right's 
Valley  at  a  spring  near  the  residence  of  the  late  Captain  Ru- 
fus  A.  Hale,  about  two  miles  west  of  the  present  city  of  Blue- 
field,  and  a  few  hundred  yards  north  of  the  track  of  the  Nor- 
folk &  Western  Railway.  He  remained  here  only  about  two 
years,  when  finding  himself  too  near  the  Indian  trail  which  led 
up  the  Beaver  Pond  Creek  to  Bailey's  gap  in  East  River  Moun- 
tain, he  removed  to  Burke's  Garden,  and  occupied  a  tract  of 
land  which  had  been  surveyed  by  his  father,  until  1782,  when 
his  family  was  captured,  and  in  part  destroyed  by  the  Indians. 
At  this  date  Ingles  and  a  man  by  the  name  of  Hicks  were  the 
only  residents  in  Burke's  Garden. 

In  the  meantime,  that  is  between  the  date  of  the  commence- 
ment of  the  settlements  by  the  white  people  within  what  is  now 
the  territory  of  Tazewell  and  the  breaking  up  of  the  Ingles  fam- 
ily in  1782,  Dunmore's  war  had  broken  out,  (177-1),  which  in 
a  measure  halted  emigration  into  the  territory. 

In  the  year  of  1773,  in  September,  Daniel  Boone  and  his 
brother.  Squire,  with  their  familes  and  a  number  of  others,  had 
left  the  Yadkin  in  North  Carolina  and  started  for  Kentucky. 
The  party  with  Boone  had  reached  Powell's  Valley,  when 
needing  provisions,  Boone's  son,  with  a  party,  had  gone  to  the 
house  of  William  Russell,  in  Castle's  woods  in  search  of  food, 
and  on  its  return  on  the  second  day  after,  and  before  overtak- 
ing the  main  party,  were  attacked  by  a  band  of  Indians  and 

1795-1836  143 

destroyed.  This  caused  Boone  and  his  party  to  halt  and  re- 
tire to  the  neighborhood  of  William  Russell,  in  Castle's  woods, 
where  a  part  of  his  company  wintered.  Finding,  in  the  spring 
of  1774,  that  the  Indians  were  on  the  war  path,  and  that  Gov- 
ernor DunmQore  had  ordered  the  raising  of  an  army  to  punish 
the  savages;  one  wing,  the  northern,  he  proposed  to  command, 
and  the  other,  the  southern,  to  be  commanded  by  Brigadier 
General  Andrew  Lewis,  who  was  ordered  to  rendezvous  his 
troops  at  Camp  Union,  now  Lewisburg,  in  Greenbrier  County ; 
and  that  call  had  been  made  upon  the  Fincastle  men  (this 
territory  was  then  in  Fincastle  County,)  Captain  William 
Russell  gathered  the  men  of  his  company,  and  in  August 
marched  up  the  Clinch  and  down  the  East  River  to  join  his  regi- 
ment, commanded  by  Colonel  William  Christian,  then  on  the 
New  River,  and  on  its  way  to  unite  with  General  Lewis.  To 
Russell's  company  belonged  Reece  Bowen  and  Moses  Bowen, 
who  marched  with  their  company  to  Point  Pleasant — Moses 
Bowen  dying  on  the  trip  from  smallpox. 

Daniel  Boone  was  left  in  command  of  Russell's  Fort,  that  of 
Bowen's,  and  of  the  Frontier,  which  he  with  his  men  faithful- 
ly guarded  in  the  absence  of  Russell's  men. 

Roving  bands  of  Indians  entered  the  Castle's  woods  and  Maid- 
en Spring  neighborhoods  during  the  absence  of  Russell  and 
his  men.  The  neighboring  women  and  children  had  gathered 
in  the  forts  for  protection. 

It  was  the  opening  of  Dunmore's  war  that  led  the  white 
people  of  this  and  adjacent  sections  to  establish  forts  and 
blockhouses  for  protection.  In  Tazewell  there  was  a  fort 
erected  by  the  Wynns  on  Wynn's  Branch,  at  Crab  Orchard  by 
Thomas  Witten,  and  one  at  Maiden  Springs  by  Reece  Bowen, 
and  a  little  later,  one  at  head  of  Beaver  Pond  by  Bailey's  and 
Davidson's,  and  later  as  stated  by  Bickley,  between  the  years 
of  1780  and  1794,  the  Virginia  Government  occasionally  kept 
a  few  companies  of  men  along  the  border,  who  occupied  these 
forts,  and  in  the  absence  of  such  armed  bodies  of  men,  sent  out 
by  the  state,  the  men  within  the  territory  threatened,  gath- 

144  New  Kiver  Settlements 

ered  in  these  places  of  refuge.    The  names  of  several  of  these 
people  have  been  preserved,  among  them : 

James  Bailey  Samuel  Lusk 

John  liaily  Eobert  Lesley 

Joseph  Belcher  James  Martin 

Eobert  Belcher  John  Maxwell 

Thomas  Brewster  James  Peery 

Edward  Burgess  John  Pruett 

Chrisopher  Caffin  Archibald  Thompson 

James  Conley  John  Ward 

John  Crockett  William  Ward 

John  Evans  James   Witten 

Joseph  Gilbert  Michael  Wright 

Absalom  Godfrey  Oliver  Wynn 

William  Hall  Hezekiah  Wright 
David  Lusk 

Robert  Trigg  was  the  military  commandant  while  the  terri- 
tory of  what  is  now  Tazewell  was  within  the  County  of  Mont- 
gomery, and  Major  Robert  Crockett  after  the  territory  was 
erected  into  the  county  Wythe. 

The  Indian  depredations  began  in  the  territory  of  what  is 
now  the  county  of  Tazewell,  in  the  year  of  1776,  In  the  month 
of  May  of  that  year  they  destroyed  John  Henry,  his  wife  and 
six  children  in  Thompson's  Valley,  and  carried  one  litte  boy 
away  a  prisoner.    In  the  same  year  they  captured  John  Evans. 

In  the  year  1779  the  family  of  Jesse  Evans  was  attacked 
by  eight  or  ten  Indians,  four  of  his  children  were  killed,  his 
wife  with  one  child  escaping  to  Major  Taylor's. 

In  the  latter  part  of  the  summer  and  early  fall  of  1780.  the 
British  army  under  Lord  Cornwallis  was  advancing  north- 
ward through  the  Carolinas.  One  division  thereof,  under  Col- 
onel Patrick  Ferguson,  had  reached  Piedmont,  North  Carolina. 
Ferguson  had  sent  threats  t  o  the  Backwater  men  that  if  they 
did  not  come  over  and  take  the  oath  of  allegiance  to  his  Sover- 
eign he  would  cross  into  their  country  and  lay  it  waste  with 

1795-1836  145 

fire  and  sword.  Evan  Shelby  and  John  Sevier  pUmned  an 
attack  upon  Ferguson's  troops,  calling  on  Colonel  Campbell  of 
Washington  County,  Virginia,  for  assistance.  Camp- 
bell called  out  the  military  force  of  his  county,  including  the 
company  of  William  Bowen  of  the  Clinch  settlements,  in 
which  company  Reece  Bowen,  of  Maiden  Spring  and  James 
Moore  of  Abb's  Valley  were  Lieutenants.  Captain  William 
Bowen  at  the  date  of  the  call  being  sick  with  fever,  the  com- 
mand of  the  company  devolved  on  Lieutenant  Reece  Bowen, 
who  led  it  to  the  battle  of  King's  Mountain,  fought  on  October 
7th,  1780. 

At  the  date  of  the  call  for  and  march  of  Bowen's  company 
from  the  Clinch,  the  western  boundary  line  of  Montgomery 
County  reached  to  Morris'  Knob  and  Roark's  Gap,  and  there- 
fore a  part  of  the  men  who  marched  with  Bowen  from  the  up- 
per Clinch  and  Bluestone  lived  in  Montgomery  County,  and 
were  not  within  the  military  district  of  Colonel  Campbell,  but 
within  that  of  Colonel  William  Preston,  of  Montgomery 
Among  the  number  of  those  who  went  from  Montgomery  terri- 
tory with  Bowen,  were  James  Moore,  Samuel  Ferguson,  Henry 
Henninger,  Thomas  Peery,  (the  Distiller)  Thomas  Peery  (the 
Blacksmith)  William  Peery  and  John  Peery,  the  latter  wound- 
ed a  number  of  times,  but  recovering,  and  one  of  the  Thomas 
Peerys  killed,  together  with  Henry  Henninger  and  Reece  Bow- 

No  attempt  will  be  made  here  to  describe  the  march  to  King's 
Mountain  nor  the  battle  and  return  home  of  the  men,  as  the 
reader  is  referred  to  a  very  full  and  accurate  account  thereof 
given  by  Draper  in  his  "King's  Mountain  and  its  Heroes." 

In  the  month  of  April,  1782,  the  family  of  Thomas  Ingles,  in 
Burke's  Garden,  was  attacked  by  Indians  and  all  who  were  at 
the  house  captured.  They  were  pursued  by  Thomas  Ingles  and 
Captain  James  Maxwell,  and  a  party  of  men,  who  overtook 
them  in  a  gap  of  Tug  ridge,  since  known  as  Maxwell's  Gap 
from  the  circumstance  that  Captain  Maxwell  was  there  killed. 

146  New  River  Settlements 

On  the  opening  of  the  fight  the  Indians  attempted  to  kill  their 
prisoners,  and  succeeded  in  tomahawking  Mrs.  Ingles,  her  lit- 
tle son  AVilliam,  and  little  daughter  Mary,  scalping  the  two 
latter  from  which  the  little  boy  soon  died,  the  little  girl  a  few 
days  later,  but  Mrs.  Ingles  recovered.  The  Harraan  Ms.  shows 
that  Captain  Henry  Harman  was  one  of  the  pursuing  party. 

Another  part  of  this  marauding  band  at  the  same  time  kill- 
ed and  scalped  two  daughters  of  Captain  John  Maxwell,  and 
took  nine  prisoners,  and  also  killed  and  scalped  near  the 
Clinch  two  sons  of  Captain  Robert  Moffett. 

A  part  of  this  same  band  of  Indians  visited  the  home  of 
James  Poague,  a  brother-in-law  of  Captain  James  Moore,  and 
who  had  come  to  Abb's  Valley  with  him  in  1777,  and  had  set- 
tled and  opened  up  some  land  on  the  farm  recently  known  as 
that  of  Captain  John  W.  Taylor.  These  Indians  attempted  to 
enter  Mr.  Poague's  house  in  the  night  time  but  finding  some 
three  or  four  men  in  the  house  they  left  without  doing  any 
harm  to  Mr.  Poague's  family,  but  the  next  morning,  near 
Poague's  house  they  killed  a  young  man  by  the  name  of  Rich- 
ards, who  had  been  working  for  Captain  Moore. 

In  1783  Joseph  Ray,  living  on  Indian  Creek,  with  a  part  of 
his  family,  together  with  a  man  by  the  name  of  Samuel 
Hughes,  who  happened  at  Ray's  house  at  the  time,  were  butch- 
ered by  the  Indians. 

Mr.  Poague  became  so  much  alarmed  for  fear  of  the  Indians 
that  very  shortly  after  their  visit  to  his  house  on  a  night  in 
April,  1872,  and  hereinbefore  referred  to,  he  left  the  settlement, 
and  went  back  into  civilization,  and  two  years  after  the  occur- 
rence at  Poague's  viz :  in  1784,  James,  the  son  of  Captain  James 
Moore,  was  captured  on  this  Taylor  farm  by  Indians,  and  car- 
ried into  captivity  where  he  remained  about  five  years. 

In  the  year  of  1785  Robert  Barnes,  born  in  Ireland,  (1)  and 
coming  to  America  about  1782,  first  halting  in  the  valley  of 
Virginia,  then  came  on  to  the  Cove  in  what  is  now  Tazewell 
County,  Virginia. 

(1)     So  stated  by  Capt.  D.  B.  Baldwin. 

1795-1836  147 

From  this  man  Robert  Barnes,  has  descended  all  the  people 
of  that  name  now  in  the  Tazewell  section,  and  who  are  among 
the  most  respectable  people  to  be  found  there  or  elsewhere. 

On  April  11th,  1786,  two  men  one Dials  and  Benjamin 

Thomas,  were  scalped  by  the  Indians  on  the  upper  waters  of 
the  Clinch;  Dials  died  in  a  few  hours,  Thomas  lived  several 

In  1785  an  Act  was  passed  by  the  General  Assembly  of  Vir- 
ginia, to  take  effect  1786,  creating  the  County  of  Russell  out 
of  the  territory  of  Washington  County.  The  eastern  bound- 
ary line  of  Russell  to  be  that  of  the  western  line  of  Montgom- 
ery County. 

Before  describing  the  destruction  of  the  family  of  Captain 
James  Moore  in  Abb's  Valley,  reference  will  be  made  to  the 
date  of  the  first  coming  of  Captain  Moore  to  the  valley  refer- 
red to. 

William  Taylor  Moore,  who  has  already  been  mentioned  as 
the  grandson  of  Captain  Moore,  stated  to  the  author  that 
Looney  so  accurately  described  the  route  from  the  Virginia 
Valley  to  Abb's  Valley  that  his  grandfather  had  no  difficulty 
in  traversing  it,  and  that  he  described  the  route  after  leaving 
the  New  River  to  be  up  a  large  Creek,  (Walker's  Creek),  to  the 
mouth  of  its  main  north  branch,  (Kimberling),  and  thence  up 
the  same  to  its  source,  and  through  a  gap,  and  down  to  a 
stream,  to  and  through  another  gap  through  which  said 
stream  passed,  and  down  the  same  to  the  mouth  of  a  stream 
coming  in  from  the  north,  (Laurel  Creek,)  and  up  the  same 
and  through  a  low  gap  of  a  high  mountain  to  the  north,  and 
thence  down  the  streams  flowing  west — northwest —  to  where 
the  waters  flowed  over  a  very  high  rock,  now  called  Falls  Mills, 
where  he  would  strike  a  Buffalo  path,  following  which  would 
lead  him  into  the  valley.  (1) 

(1).  Shortly  after  Captain  Moore's  settlement  in  the  Valley  a  buf- 
falo bull  came  up  to  his  home  with  the  milch  cows,  and  the  Captain 
killed  the  animal. 

148  New  River  Settlements 

On  July  14th,  1786,  Captain  James  Moore  and  his  family, 
were  attacked  bv  a  band  of  forty  Shawnee  Indians,  and  the 
Captain  and  a  part  of  his  family  killed,  and  part  captured  and 
carried  away. 

In  1788  in  the  month  of  August,  a  man  by  the  name  of  Pem- 
berton,  who  lived  in  Baptist  Valley,  about  five  miles  from 
the  present  County  site  of  Tazewell,  was  attacked  by  a  party 
of  marauding  Indians,  but  succeeded  in  beating  them  off,  and 
making  safe  retreat  to  a  neighbor's  house. 

As  has  already  been  related.  Captain  Henry  Harman  and 
two  of  his  sons,  George  and  Matthias,  on  a  hunting  expedi- 
tion on  Tug  had,  on  the  12th  day  of  November,  1788,  a  severe 
battle  with  seven  or  eight  Indians,  part  of  whom  they  killed 
and  wounded,  tlie  remainder  retreated.  This  fight  took  place 
on  the  bank  of  the  Tug  a  short  distance  below  the  residence 
of  the  late  Mr.  Henry  T.  Peery.  Captain  Harman  received 
several  wounds  from  arrows  ehot  into  him  by  the  Indians. 

In  the  month  of  March,  1789,  a  party  of  Indians  came  up 
the  Dry  Fork  of  the  Sandy,  and  about  the  mouth  of  Dick's 
Creek  were  caught  in  a  snow  storm,  and  took  shelter  under  a 
large  shelving  rock  opposite  the  mouth  of  the  above  mention- 
ed creek,  and  while  hiding  there  and  sheltering  from  the 
storm,  William  Wheatley  of  Baptist  Valley,  in  search  of  a 
lost  dog  was  killed  by  these  Indians,  who  mutilated  his  body 
in  a  most  horrible  manner.  They  then  proceeded  to  the  gap 
at  the  head  of  Dry  Fork  and  destroyed  the  wife  and  children 
of  James  Koark.  They  were  pursued  by  the  whites  but  suc- 
ceeded in  making  good  their  escape. 

On  the  night  of  October  the  first,  1789,  a  body  of  Indians 
visited  the  house  of  Thomas  Wiley,  at  what  is  now  known  as 
the  Dill's  farm,  a  little  below  the  mouth  of  Cove  Creek  of 
Clear  fork  of  Wolf  Creek,  and  captured  and  carried  away  his 
wife,  Mrs.  Virginia  Wiley,  and  her  four  little  children  whom 
they  killed  on  their  way  up  Cove  Creek.    Mrs.  Wiley  was  car- 

1795-1836  149 

ried  away  a  prisoner  to  tlieir  towns  where  she  remained  until 
September,  1792,  escaping  with  Samuel  Lusk. 

In  tlie  year  of  1790  the  county  of  Wythe  was  created  out 
of  the  territory  of  Montgomery.  The  western  line  of  Wythe 
by  the  Act  of  Creation,  was  the  same  as  between  Montgomery 
and  Russell  Counties;  that  is,  from  the  west  side  of  Morris 
Knob  to  Roark's  gap  and  to  the  head  waters  of  the  Sandy. 
The  eastern  line  running  from  Reed  Island  Creek  to  the  Kan- 
awha line,  passing  about  one  half  mile  west  of  the  present 
town  of  Princetou,  in  Mercer  County.  In  April,  1791,  the  wife 
and  children  of  Andrew  Davidson,  with  two  bound  children 
were  captured  by  Indians  at  their  home  on  the  head  wa- 
ters of  East  River,  near  the  present  city  of  Bluefield,  then  in 
Wythe  County.  Mrs.  Davidson  was  not  recovered  by  her  hus- 
band until  after  Wayne's  Victory  in  August,  1794. 

In  the  same  year  of  1791,  Daniel  Harman  on  a  hunting  expe- 
dition on  the  upper  Clinch  waters  was  killed  by  Indians. 

In  the  month  of  July,  1792,  a  band  of  Indians  from  the  Ohio 
section  entered  the  upper  Clinch  and  Bluestone  settlements, 
and  stole  horses.  Major  Robert  Crockett,  the  military  com- 
mandant of  Wythe  County,  gathered  a  force  of  men  and  fol- 
lowed the  marauders.  His  scouts  or  spies,  Joseph  Gilbert  and 
Samuel  Lusk,  were  sent  in  advance  to  a  lick  on  a  creek  flowing 
into  the  Cuyandotte  to  kill  some  game  for  food  for  the  men. 
They  reached  the  lick  on  the  24th  day  of  July,  killed  a  deer  and 
Avounded  an  Elk,  following  the  latter  some  distance  and  fail- 
ing to  over  take  it  they  returned  to  the  lick  for  the  deer,  and 
were  suddenly  attacked  by  the  Indians,  who  were  in  hiding 
near  by,  and  Gilbert  killed,  Lusk  wounded  and  captured.  Ma- 
jor Crockett's  men  failed  to  overtake  them.  In  September  of 
the  same  year,  Lusk  in  company  with  Mrs.  Virginia  Wiley, 
escaped  from  the  Indian  town  at  Chillicothe,  on  the  Scioto,  and 
made  his  way  home. 

On  the  8th  day  of  March,  1793,  a  body  of  twelve  Indians, 
and  a  white  man  by  the  name  of  Rice,  murdered  John  Goolman 
Davidson,  usually   called   John   or   Cooper   Davidson,   at   the 

150  New  River  Settlements 

mouth  of  a  small  branch  of  Laurel  Creek  of  clear  fork  of  Wolf 
Creek,  and  at  the  southern  base  of  East  River  Mountain  at  a 
point  where  the  path  leaving  Laurel  passes  through  Bailey's 
Gap.  This  party  was  pursued  by  Major  Crockett  and  a  com- 
pany of  men,  who  overtook  them  at  the  Island  of  the  Guyan- 
dotte  River,  where  now  stands  Logan  Court  House.  A  skirm- 
ish followed  in  which  one  Indian  was  killed,  the  rest  fled  leav- 
ing their  stolen  horses  and  their  breakfast,  the  latter  the  whites 
devoured,  and  among  the  recaptured  horses  was  recognized 
that  of  Mr.  Davidson,  which  led  on  the  return  of  the  party  to  a 
search  of  Mr,  Davidson,  whose  dead  nude  body  they  found  un- 
der the  roots  of  a  beech  tree  on  the  bank  of  Laurel  Creek. 

This  Indian  incursion  was  the  last  ever  made  into  the  ter- 
ritory in  what  is  now  Tazewell  County.  The  next  year,  1794, 
General  Wayne  defeated  the  United  Indian  tribes  at  Fallen 
Timbers  in  Ohio,  and  this  gave  peace  to  the  border,  along 
which  had  been  committed  by  the  savages  horrible  barbarities 
for  almost  forty  years.     (1) 

With  a  full  establishment  of  peace  and  quiet  on  the  border 
new  people  came  rapidly  into  the  country,  and  settlements  be- 
gan throughout  the  whole  Clinch  Valley  section  and  on  to  the 

In  the  winter  of  1799  a  bill  was  introduced  into  the  General 
Assembly  of  Virginia,  by  Mr.  Cottrell,  the  representative  from 
Russell  County,  providing  for  the  creation  of  a  new  county  out 
of  the  territory  of  Wythe  and  Russell.  The  bill  of  Mr.  Cottrell 
as  stated  by  IJickley,  met  with  formidable  opposition  from  Mr. 
Tazewell,  the  representative  from  the  county  of  Norfolk.  Mr. 
Cottrell  inserted  in  the  bill  Tazewell  as  the  name  of  his  pro- 
posed new  county,  which  not  only  silenced  the  member  from 
Norfolk,  but  secured  his  support  for  the  bill. 

The  following  are  the  boundary  lines  of  the  county  of  Taze- 

(1)  A  family  by  the  name  of  Sliiss  was  destroyed  by  Indians  near 
what  is  now  known  as  Sharon  Springs,  but  the  date  and  circumstances 
are  unknown. 

1795-1836  151 

well  as  set  forth  in  the  Act  of  its  creation  December  19th,  1799 


viz:  "Beginning  on  the  Kanawha  line,  which  divides  Mont- 
gomery and  Wythe  Counties,  thence  to  where  said  line  crosses 
the  top  of  Brushy  Mountain,  thence  along  the  top  of  said 
mountain  to  its  junction  with  Garden  Mountain,  thence  along 
the  top  of  the  said  mountain  to  the  Clinch  Mountain,  thence 
along  the  top  of  said  mountain  to  the  mouth  of  Cove  Creek,  a 
branch  of  the  Maiden  Spring  Fork  of  Clinch  River,  thence  a 
strait  line  to  Mann's  Gap  in  Kent's  Ridge,  thence  north  45 
west  to  the  line  which  divides  Kentucky  from  that  of  Virginia, 
thence  along  said  line  to  the  Kanawha  line,  and  with  said  line 
to  the  place  of  beginning."  On  Feb.  8rd,  1835,  the  Legislature 
altered  the  line  dividing  the  Counties  of  Russell  and  Taze- 
well, by  running  from  Mann's  gap  in  Kent's  ridge  north  45  deg. 
45  minutes  west  the  distance  of  974  poles.  In  1806  a  portion 
of  Tazewell  was  cut  off  into  the  county  of  Giles,  and  in 
1837  another  portion  of  the  territory  of  Tazewell  was  stricken 
off  into  Mercer,  and  in  1858  the  Counties  of  Buchanan  and  Mc- 
Dowell were  created  out  of  Tazewell  territory,  and  in  1861 
Tazewell  also  lost  part  of  her  territory  by  the  formation  of 
Bland  countv. 

The  first  court  held  for  the  county  of  Tazewell  was  at  the 
house  of  Colonel  John  B.  George,  in  the  month  of  May,  1800. 

John    Ward    was    elected    clerk,    and Maxwell    made 

sheriff.  The  second  court  was  held  in  June  of  the  same  year 
at  the  house  of  Harvey  G.  Peery,  in  which  month  Judge  Brock- 
enborough  held  the  first  Superior  Court  of  Law.  He  was  suc- 
ceeded by  Judge  Peter  Johnston. 

James  Thompson  was  the  first  Commonwealth's  Attorney 
for  the  county. 

Bickley  in  his  history  of  Tazewell,  gives  the  following  as  the 
names  of  the  citizens  of  the  county,  who  were  in  the  battle  of 
the  Alamance  and  in  the  American  Revolution,  viz : 


New  River  Settlements 

At  the  Alamance 


James  Cartmell 
James  Moore 
William  Peery 
Tliomas   Peery 
John  Peerv 

In  the  Revolution 

Reece  Bowen 
Low  Bowen 
Thomas  Harrison   (2) 
John  Lasley 
Archer  Maloney 
Neal  McGuire 
James  Moore 
Solomon  Stratton 
Isham  Thomlinson 

And  the  following  as  soldiers  in  the  war  of  1812  viz : 

William  Asbury 
Williams  Barnes 
George  Barnheart 
Isaac  Bostic 
James  Belcher 
Peter  Gose 
Col.  Henry  Bowen 
James  Brooks 
John  Davidson 
Jeremiah  Early 
Pleasant  FrankJin 
William  Greene 
James  Higginbotham 
William   Higginbothanj 
Isaac  King 
David  Lu-sk 
Capt.  Thomas  Peery 

Jonathan  Peery 
David  Robertson 
Matliew  Stevenson 
William  Smith 
Daniel  Tabor 
Reece  B.  Thompson 
Henry  B,  Thompson 
Charles  Vandyke 
John  Vandyke 
Joseph  Walls 
Alexander  Ward 
Hugh  Wilson 
William  Witten 
Peter  E.  Wynne 
Samuel  Wynne 
Israel  Young 
Nathaniel  Young 

From  1800,  the  date  of  the  formation  of  the  county,  to  the 
beginning  of  the  year  of  1861,  this  county  had  within  its  bor- 
ders as  pure  a  type  of  Americanism  as  any  county  within  the 

(2).     Thomas  Harrison  came  from  Birmingham,  England,  and  was 
the  son  of  a  cutler. 

1795-1836  153 

Commonwealtb.  There  were  few,  if  any,  of  what  might  be 
deemed  foreigners,  that  is,  those  who  came  direct  from  foreign 

In  politics  this  people  was  so  thoroughly  democratic  that 
in  the  two  presidential  contests,  1828-1832,  between  Jackson 
and  Clay,  the  latter  in  the  first  contest  received  in  the  county 
but  one  vote,  and  the  second  two  votes.  This  solid  democratic 
wall  was  shaken  but  once  from  1800  to  1861,  and  that  was 
in  the  contest  for  the  State  Senate  in  1857,  between  Nathaniel 
Harrison,  Democrat,  and  Napoleon  B.  French,  Whig,  the  lat- 
ter succeeding  in  reducing  the  democratic  majority  largely  in 
this  county,  which  resulted  in  the  defeat  of  Mr.  Harrison  in 
the  district. 

The  bitter  fight  and  exciting  contest  for  Congress  in  1848, 
between  Colonel  John  B.  George  and  Fayette  McMullen,  both 
Democrats,  in  which  the  latter  won  by  over  2,000  majority,  is 
still  remembered  among  the  older  people  of  the  county. 

The  contests  for  the  Circuit  Judgeship  between  George  W. 
Hopkins  and  Joseph  Stras,  and  again  between  Samuel  V. 
Fulkerson  and  Mr.  Stras  were  notable. 

The  people  of  this  county  held  but  few  slaves,  the  first  of 
these  were  brought  into  the  county  by  James  Witten,  about 
1771,  and  the  next  by  a  man  by  the  name  of  Hicks  and 
Thomas  Ingles  in  about  the  year  of  1780. 

When  the  civil  war  period  approached  it  found  the  people 
of  this  county  as  thoroughly  united  for  the  south,  and  the  up- 
holding and  vindication  of  its  constitutional  rights  as  the  peo- 
ple of  any  county  Avithin  the  Coumionwealth.  In  the  elec- 
tion for  delegates  to  the  Constitutional  Convention  of  1861, 
two  of  its  most  distinguished  citizens — William  P.  Cecil  and 
Samuel  L.  Graham — were  elected.  Both  these  men  were  above 
the  average,  and  imbued  with  strong  convictions  in  favor  of 
resistance  to  further  Federal  aggression,  and  in  favor  of  Se- 
cession if  that  step  was  felt  to  be  absolutely  necessary  for  the 
protection  of  the  rights  of  the  people  of  Virginia.  These  gen- 
tlemen voted  for  the  Ordinance  of  Secession,  came  home,  buck- 

154  New  River  Settlements 

led  on  their  armor,  and  went  forth  to  do  battle  for  their 
cause  and  country.  The  people  of  this  county  entered  upon 
the  war  with  zeal  and  earnestness,  organizing  and  sending  to 
the  war  above  twenty  companies.  There  was  as  little  disloy- 
alty to  the  south  and  her  cause  among  the  people  of  Tazewell 
as  in  any  county  in  the  State,  and  when  the  war  had  ended 
her  people  were  less  annoyed  with  scalawags  and  carpetbag- 
gers than  the  people  of  any  county  west  of  the  Alleghanies, 
After  the  close  of  the  war  and  up  to  the  agitation  of  the  State 
debt  question,  the  people  still  adhered  to  Democracy.  This 
debt  question  divided  them,  and  a  large  number  of  the  most 
prominent,  respectable  and  influential  people  of  the  county 
fell  in  with  the  Readjuster  Movement,  which  finally  landed 
them  in  the  Republican  party;  since  which  time  the  county 
has  been  overwhelmingly  Republican. 

This  county  is  a  little  Commonwealth  within  itself,  having 
within  its  borders,  the  most  valuable  agricultural,  grazing  and 
mineral  lands  to  be  found  in  this  region  of  Virginia.  Its  peo- 
ple are  among  the  most  cultivated,  lawabiding,  and  best  in  the 
world.  Its  lawyers  among  the  most  distinguished  in  the 
State;  among  the  number  may  be  mentioned  Honorable  Sam- 
uel C.  Graham,  Major  R.  R.  Henry,  J.  W.  Chapman,  A.  P.  Gil- 
lespie, Samuel  D.  May,  J.  H.  Stuart,  S.  M.  B.  CouHng,  H.  C. 
Alderson,  J.  N.  Harman,  Barnes  Gillespie'  E.  L.  Greever, 
Thompson  Crockett  Bowen. 

There  has  been  less  change  in  the  character  of  the  rural  pop- 
ulation of  this  county,  than  that  of  most  any  adjoining  coun- 
ty. The  building  of  railroads  and  the  development  of  mines 
have  had  but  little  apparent  efifect  upon  the  character  of  the 
population.  These  people  are  largely  the  descendants  of  the 
Wittens,  Moores,  Maxwells,  Bowens,  Barnes,  Gillespies,  Gra- 
hams, Crocket ts,  Peerys.  Georges,  Wards,  Shannons,  Harris- 
ons, Greever,  Meeks,  Higginbothams,  Deskins,  Thompsons,  Da- 
vidsons, Wynns,  Cecils,  Spotts,  Taylors,  and  Harmans,  the 
most  of  whom  were  among  the  first  settlers  of  the  country. 
Matters  connected  with  the  Courts  of  this  county,  the  names 

1795-1836  155 

of  the  judges  and  members  of  the  House  of  Delegates,  together 
with  a  list  of  the  military  organizations,  or  at  least  the  names 
thereof,  that  entered  the  Confederate  service  will  be  found  in 
the  appendix  to  this  volume;  but  before  closing  it  will  prob- 
ably not  be  out  of  place  to  relate  an  anecdote  given  to  the  au- 
thor by  the  late  Major  Rufus  Brittain.  Honorable  Benjamin 
Estill,  long  the  respected,  honored  judge  of  the  Circuit  Court 
of  Tazewell,  was  a  very  grave  and  dignified  gentleman,  and  was 
held  in  high  respect  by  the  bar  and  people.  In  the  early  years 
of  his  administration,  in  the  trial  of  a  case  before  him,  there 
came  a  witness  from  lower  Sandy  country,  who  for  the  first 
time  in  his  life  was  at  his  county  town  and  his  county  Court 
House,  and  who  had  never  testified  as  a  witness  in  a  court  of 
justice.  He  was  illiterate  and  meanly  dressed.  Having  given 
his  evidence  and  when  he  was  about  to  leave  the  stand,  the 
judge,  apparently  not  impressed  with  the  truthfulness 
of  his  story,  leaned  forward,  and  in  a  very  quiet  but  earnest 
manner,  said,  "Mr.  Witness  have  you  told  the  truth,  the  whole 
truth,  and  nothing  but  the  truth?"  The  witness  looking 
straight  into  the  face  of  the  Judge  replied,  "Well,  Mr.  Jedge,  I 
think  I  have  and  a  little  the  rise." 

Prior  to  the  formation  of  Giles  County,  in  1806,  the  people 
inhabiting  the  New  River  settlements  and  westward  beyond 
in  Montgomery  County,  when  compelled  to  attend  the  court, 
had  to  travel  many  miles  through  the  wilderness  to  reach  their 
county  Court  House  at  Christiansburg.  By  the  creation  of 
Giles  County,  out  of  the  territory  of  the  counties  of  Mont- 
gomery, Monroe  and  Tazewell,  the  people  along  the  lower  New 
River  settlements,  and  on  the  waters  of  the  Bluestone,  Guyan- 
dotte,  and  the  head  waters  of  the  Coal  Rivers  were  brought 
nearer  to  their  County  Court  House.  In  January,  1806,  the 
County  of  Giles  (1.)  was  created  with  the  following  boundary 
lines  described  in  the  Act,  viz :  "Beginning  at  the  end  of  Gau- 
ley  Mountain  on  New  River  where  the  counties  of  Greenbrier 
and  Kanawha  intersect;  thence,  up  the  river  with  the  Green- 

■  (1)     Named  for  Hon.  Wm.  B.  Giles. 

156  New  Kiver  Settlements 

brier  and  Montgomery  County  Line  to  the  upper  end  of  Pine's 
Plantation ;  thence,  a  straight  line  to  the  mouth  of  Rich  Creek, 
thence  with  the  Montgomery  and  Monroe  line  to  the  intersec- 
tion of  Botetourt  County  line,  and  with  the  line  of  Mongomery 
and  Botetourt  to  the  top  of  Gap  mountain,  thence  along  the 
top  of  said  mountain  to  New  River,  crossing  the  same  to  the 
end  of  Walker's  Creek  ^Mountain,  thence  along  the  top  of  said 
mountain  to  the  intersection  of  Wythe  County  line,  thence 
northwestward  with  said  line  to  the  intersection  of  Tazewell 
County  line,  and  with  Tazewell  and  Montgomery  County  line 
to  the  top  of  Wolf  Creek  Mountain  to  a  path  leading  from 
Round  Bottom  to  Harman's  Mill  about  three  miles  be- 
low the  mouth  of  the  Clear  fork  of  Wolf  Creek,  thence  a 
straight  line  to  tlie  mouth  of  Militon's  Fork,  thence  a  direct 
line  to  the  head  of  Crane  Creek  to  the  top  of  Flat  Top  Moun- 
tain, thence  a  direct  line  to  the  three  forks  of  the  Guyandotte, 
thence  down  said  river  until  it  intersects  the  Kanawha  Coun- 
ty line,  thence  with  said  line  to  the  beginning." 

There  have  been  since  the  creation  of  the  county  of  Giles 
four  changes  in  the  boundary  lines  thereof.  The  line  between 
Giles  and  Monroe  was  altered  in  1830,  by  running  from  a  point 
on  Peter's  Mountain,  opposite  the  Grey  Sulpher  Springs,  down 
Rich  Creek  near  Peterstowu  and  to  Wiley's  Falls,  taking  from 
Monroe  and  adding  to  Giles  this  strip  of  territory.  In  1841, 
by  adding  a  small  strip  from  the  county  of  Mercer  by  running 
from  Touey's  Mill  dam  to  Wiley's  Falls.  Again  in  1851,  on 
the  formation  of  the  county  of  Craig,  by  cutting  off  to  that 
counts'  a  strip  of  the  territory  of  Giles  and,  later  in  1858,  an- 
other strip  to  Craig ;  and  likewise  in  18G1,  by  the  formation  of 
Bland  County,  Giles  lost  a  very  considerable  strip  of  her  ter- 

The  territory  embraced  in  the  now  county  of  Giles  is  very 
mountainous,  and  of  the  most  rugged  character,  covering  at 
the  period  of  its  formation  the  New  River  Valley  for  a  dis- 
tance of  over  one  hundred  miles  in  length  with  a  mean  width 
of  about  thirtv  miles,  embracing  not  onlv  waters  which  flow 

1795-1836  157 

into  the  New  River  proper,  but  also  the  head  waters  of  the 
Giiyandotte,  which  flows  into  the  Ohio,  and  the  headwaters  of 
the  Coal  River,  which  flows  into  the  Kanawha.  The  names  of 
the  streams  in  the  then  territory  of  the  county  and  flowing  in- 
to New  River  are  as  follows :  Spruce  Run,  Sinking  Creek,  Doe 
Creek,  Big  Stony  Creek,  Little  Stony  Creek,  and  Rich  Creek 
on  the  northeast  side-  of  the  river,  and  Walker's  Creek,  Wolf 
Creek,  East  River,  Brush  Creek,  Bluestone,  Piney,  Big  and 
Little  Coal  Rivers,  and  some  of  the  branches  of  the  Guyan- 
dotte  on  the  west  and  northwest  side  of  the  river.  The  moun- 
tain ranges — Walker's  Mountain,  Angel's  Rest,  Great  Flat 
Top,  Guyandotte,  Peter's  Mountain,  East  River  Mountain, 
Wolf  Creek  Mountain,  Butt  Mountain,  Brush  Mountain,  and 
Salt  Pond  Mountain. 

Pursuant  to  the  act  creating  the  County  of  Giles,  the  first 
court  was  held  on  the  13tli  day  of  May,  1806,  in  a  house  adja- 
cent to  the  dwelling  house  of  Captain  George  Pearis  (1)  on 
New  River,  near  where  Pearisburg  station  is  now  situated.  The 
building  in  which  the  first  court  was  held  remained  standing 
until  two  or  three  years  ago,  when  it  was  destroyed  by  fire. 

The  Governor  of  the  Commonwealth,  William  H.  Cabell,  had 
issued  commissions  to  the  following  named  gentlemen  as  Jus- 
tices of  the  Peace  of  the  new  County,  viz :  George  Pearis, 
Thomas  Shannon,  Christian  Snidow,  David  French,  David 
Johnston,  (2)  Edward  McDonald,  Isaac  Chapman,  John  Kirk, 
John  Peck,  Christopher  Champ,  John  Burke,  and  James  Bane. 
Thomas  Shannon  and  Christian  Snidow,  the  second  and  third 
named  persons  in  the  commission,  administered  the  oath  to 
George  Pearis  the  first  named,  and  he  then  administered  it  to 
the  others.  David  Johnston  produced  a  commission  from  the 
Governor  of  the  Commonwealth  as  Sheriff  of  the  new  county, 
and  qualified  as  such  with  Christian  Snidow  and  Isaac  Chap- 

(1)  The  first  settler  where  Pearisburg  station  is  now  situated  and 
the  first  merchant  in  what  is  now  Giles  County. 

(2).  David  and  Andrew  Johnston  were  the  first  merchants  and 
opened  the  first  tannery:  Dr.  John  H.  Rutter,  the  first  resident  phy- 
sician; W.  C.  Charlton,  first  tailor. 

158  New  River  Settlements 

man  as  his  sureties,  giving  bond  in  the  penalty  of  $7,000,  and 
James  Hoge  qualified  as  his  Deputy.  David  French  was  elect- 
ed clerk,  and  at  his  request  the  court  apointed  John  Mc- 
Taylor  as  his  deputy.  Captain  George  Pearis  was  elected  pre- 
siding Justice,  and  also  commissioner  of  the  revenue.  Philip 
Lybrook  was  appointed  county  surveyor,  and  afterwards  gave 
bond  in  the  penalty  of  $3,000  with  John  Lybrook  and  David 
French  as  his  sureties, 

Henley  Chapman  produced  a  license  authorizing  him  to 
practice  law  in  the  courts  of  the  Commonwealth,  and  on  his 
motion  was  admitted  to  practice  in  the  courts  of  the  County. 
The  second  term  of  the  court  convened  on  the  10th  day  of  June, 
1806,  at  which  term  tlie  first  Grand  Jury  for  the  county  was 
impaneled  and  was  composed  of  the  following  named  gentle- 
men: William  Smith,  foreman,  Matthew  French,  John  Peters, 
Charles  Walker,  Joseph  Hare,  Thomas  Clyburn,  Adam  John- 
ston, William  Wilburn,  William  Brown,  John  Chapman,  Wil- 
liam Tracy,  David  Summers,  William  Law,  John  Sartin,  Ed- 
ward Hale  and  Robert  Clendenin. 

Two  indictments  were  found  by  the  jury  at  this  term,  to 
wit:  one  against  Peter  Dingess  for  retailing  spiritual  liquors, 
and  one  against  William  Stowers,  for  entering  the  whiskey 
house  of  John  Toney  without  leave  and  making  use  of  his 
liquors.  George  Pearis  and  John  Toney  were  each  granted  a 
license  to  keep  an  Ordinary  at  their  respective  houses,  they 
having  given  the  required  bonds.  Thomas  Lewis,  an  attorney- 
at-law,  and  who  was  afterwards,  in  1816,  near  Christianburg, 
Va.,  killed  in  a  duel  with  McHenry,  was  admitted  to  practice 
in  the  courts  of  the  County.  The  following  named  persons  were 
appointed  constables  for  said  County,  viz:  John  Hale,  Charles 
Stuart,  Henry  Clay,  Jacob  McPherson,  Edward  Lewis,  Reu- 
ben Johnston,  Noah  Mullet  and  Delaney  Sweeney,  and  Chris- 
tian Snidow  and  Isaac  Chapman  were  recommended  to  the 
governor  as  being  qualified  to  discharge  the  duties  of  the  of- 
fice of  Coroner. 

It  was  ordered  that  the  next  term   of  the  court  be  held  in 

1795-1836  159 

the  house  to  be  erected  by  James  Aldridge  on  one  of  the  pub- 
lic lots. 

Captain  George  Pearis  donated  fifty  three  acres  of  land  to 
the  County  on  which  to  erect  its  public  buildings,  and  a  town 
was  established  on  this  land,  called  Pearisburg  in  honor  of 
Captain  Pearis.  Andrew  Johnston  agreeing  to  survey  and 
lay  off  the  town  lots  and  public  square  for  the  consideration 
of  131.00,  was  appointed  to  do  so.  The  first  petit  jury  impan- 
eled in  the  County  consisted  of  Patrick  Napier,  John  Peters, 
Joseph  Jackson,  Isaac  Jackson,  William  Clay,  Colby  Stowers, 
William  Pepper,  Nimrod  Smith,  Henry  Dillion,  Charles  Clay, 
Philip  Peters,  and  Larkin  Stowers.  The  second  Grand  Jury 
consisted  of  the  following  named  persons,  viz :  Thomas  Burke, 
foreman,  John  Peters  Theodore  Hilvey,  Charles  Walker,  Jamee 
French,  John  Martin,  William  Caldwell,  William  Wilburn, 
Thomas  Clyburn,  John  French,  John  Sartin,  John  Lybrook, 
Thomas  Farley,  Eeuben  Johnston,  James  Johnston,  Adam 
Taylor,  and  Michael  Williams. 

On  these  early  records  of  Giles  County  appear  the  names  of 
Chapman,  Johnston,  Oney,  Givens,  Price,  Farley,  Straley,  (1.) 
Hare,  Lybrook,  Burke,  Copley,  McKensey,  Garrison,  Gore, 
Solesbury,  Roberts,  Harman,  Mustard,  McDonald,  Fry, 
French,  Miller,  Clay,  Cooke,  Eaton,  Munsey,  Canterbury,  Mul- 
lens, Burgess,  Maupin,  Jones,  Hall,  Emmons,  Little,  Spangler, 
Clyburn,  Blankenship,  Snodgrass,  Atkins,  Bogle,  Conley, 
Rowe,  Epling,  Cecil,  Tracy,  Sarver,  Marrs,  King,  Smith,  Bowl- 
ing, Hager,  Lester,  Meadows,  Albert,  Scott,  Ford,  White,  Bane, 
Shannon,  McClaugherty,  Watts,  Pearis,  Sweeny,  Snidow, 
Toney,  Napier,  McComas,  Burton,  and  Rowland,  the  latter 
named  family  from  Philadelphia,  Pa. 

Before  giving  further  history  of  the  County  notice  will  be 
be  taken  of  some  interesting  matters  appearing  on  the  old 
court  record  of  Fincastle  and  Montgomery  Counties.  Among 
the  numerous  orders  of  the  County  Court  ordering  parties  sus- 

(1)     David  Straley  and  John  Fillinger  first  blacksmiths. 

160  New  River  Settlements 

pected  of  being  Tories  to  appear  in  court,  and  either  take  the 
oath  or  give  bond  for  their  good  behavior,  is  an  order  made  up- 
on tlie  petition  of  numerous  citizens  praying  that  the  place 
for  the  holding  of  court  be  removed  to  Craig's,  as  it  is  a  ^'bet- 
ter  place  for  hitching  horses." 

It  must  be  remembered  that  the  Count}'  Courts,  for  there 
were  no  others  in  this  section  at  that  date,  constituted  practic- 
ally', the  legislative,  executive  and  judicial  authority  and  pow- 
er of  the  County,  before  the  itinerant  District  Judge  came 

On  March  3rd,  1778,  Benjamin  Rogerg  was  appointed  a  con- 
stable in  Captain  Pearis'  company.  In  June,  1785,  David 
Johnston  was  appointed  a  constable.  On  the  26th  of  April, 
1785,  an  order  was  made  by  the  County  Court  allowing  a  sum 
of  money  to  George  Pearis  for  provisions,  bacon  and  Indian 
meal  furnished  to  two  spies,  and  to  the  militia  in  June,  1782. 
Thomas  Shannon  and  George  Pearis  were  appointed  in  1785  to 
review  a  road  down  New  River  on  both  sides  to  the  Greenbrier 
County  line,  and  the  same  year  George  Pearis  and  Snidow  and 
Chapman  had  ferries  established  across  New  River.  In  1787, 
September  8th,  Mitchell  Clay  conveyed  one  half  of  the  Clover 
Bottom  tract  of  land  to  Hugh  Innis,  of  Franklin  County.  On 
the  7th  of  April,  1788,  George  Pearis  conveyed  a  tract  of  land 
on  Sugar  Run  to  Joseph  Cloyd,  and  in  June  of  the  same  year, 
conveyed  a  tract  on  New  River  to  David  McComas.  June  1st, 
1790,  Mitchell  Clay  ccnveyed  to  George  Pearis  the  remaining 
half  if  the  Clover  liottom  tract.  In  1703  Colonel  cniristian 
Snidow  erected  his  dwelling  house  on  the  east  side  of  New 
River,  at  the  SnidoAv-Chapman  Ferry,  and  Isaac  Chapman 
settled  on  tlie  opposite  side  of  the  river  from  Col.  Snidow,  and 
in  1704,  George  Chapman  erected  his  dwelling  house  on  the 
east  side  of  New  River,  about  one  mile  below  Colonel  Snidow's, 
on  land  now  belonging  to  H.  B.  Shelton  and  H.  L.  Phlegar. 

The  following  extracts  are  taken  from  the  record  of  Fin- 
castle  County  Court.  On  January  6th,  1773,  the  Court  recom- 
mended to  His  Excellency,  the  Governor,  tliat  he  will  be  pleas- 

Built  in   1793.  opposite  Ripplemead,  Va. 

1795-1836  161 

ed  to  establish  a  Court  House  for  the  County,  at  a  piece  of 
land  commonly  called  McCauFs  Place,  near  the  property  of 
Ross  and  Co.,  and  the  lands  of  Samuel  Crockett,  in  lieu  of  the 
Lead  Mines  for  the  several  reasons  following:  "that  the  said 
McCaul's  Place  and  Crockett's  lies  on  the  Great  road  that  pass- 
es through  the  county  and  that  it  is  well  watered,  timbered, 
and  level;  that  it  is  much  more  central  than  the  Mines,  and 
that  it  is  in  the  neighborhood  of  a  great  deal  of  good  land  and 
meadows;  that  the  Lead  Mines  are  near  the  south  line  of  the 
County,  and  there  is  no  spring  convenient,  very  scarce  of 
timber,  and  in  a  neighborhood  where  there  is  very  little  pas- 
ture, and  entirely  off  the  leading  road.  To  which  order  Ar- 
thur Campbell  dissented."  At  March  Court,  1773,  John  Aylett 
and  John  Todd  qualified  to  practice  law.  John  Aylett  produc- 
ed a  commission  appointing  him  His  Majesty's  attorney.  On 
the  second  day  of  April,  1775,  appeared  James  Clevars  agent 
for  General  Washington,  and  being  first  sworn  as  the  law  di- 
rects, produced  to  the  court  a  valuation  of  the  improvements 
on  the  lands  situated  on  the  lower  or  south  side  of  the  Great 
Kanawha,  containing  10,990  acres,  property  belonging  to  Gen- 
eral Washington,  with  a  certificate  granted  by  William  Rus- 
sell, Justice  of  the  Peace  for  this  County,  and  that  Stevens, 
George  Aubry,  and  John  Clemonts,  being  first  duly  sworn  to 
value  the  tax  improvements,  which  said  valuation  of  the  im- 
provements amounting  to  1,100  lbs.,  15  sh.  71/0  pence,  together 
with  the  above  mentioned  certificate  is  ordered  to  be  recorded 
according  to  law. 

The  following  extracts  are  taken  from  the  records  of  Mont- 
gomery County  Court :  John  French  qualified  as  Lieutenant  in 
the  eighty-sixth  regiment.  John  Chapman  appointed  ensign 
at  March  Court,  1778,  in  Captain  Lucas'  company.  On  the 
eighth  day  of  April,  1778,  the  following  order  was  entered : 
"The  court  proceeded  to  vote  for  a  place  for  the  Court  House. 
John  Montgomery,  Walter  Crockett  and  James  McGavock 
having  made  the  several  proposals  and  the  question  being  put, 
a  majority  were  of  the  opinion  that  it  should  be  at  Fort  Chis- 

1G2  New  River  Settlements 

well,  Mr.  McGavock  giving  the  county  twenty  acres  of  land  on 
the  hill  above  the  house  on  the  north  side  of  the  road  to  with- 
in ten  poles  of  the  mill,  thence  down  the  branch  and  binding 
thereon  so  as  to  make  the  same  nearly  square,  with  the  use  of 
the  spHng  in  common  with  himself;  also  twenty  acres  of  wood 
land  to  begin  at  the  corner  near  his  and  extend  eastwardly 
along  tlie  line  ninety  poles,  and  then  such  course  and  distances 
as  will  include  the  said  twenty  acres;  likewise  the  use  of  any 
quarries  on  the  Fort  Chiswell  tract  for  building,  which  lands 
and  privileges  he  is  to  convey  to  the  court  for  the  benefit  of  the 
County  in  fee  simple  without  any  consideration  other  than  the 
advantage  of  having  a  Court  House  located  on  his  land;  and 
a  reservation  of  one  half  acre  lot  in  said  land,  such  as  he  shall 
choose  after  the  ground  for  the  public  buildings  is  laid  off." 

At  September  Court,  1785,  John  Chapman  was  appointed 
one  of  the  Viewers  to  view  a  route  for  a  road  from  Big  Cross- 
ing of  Walker's  Creek  by  Thomas  Shannon's  and  Sugar  Run, 
at  Taylor's  land  to  Captain  Pearls'.  At  November  Court,  1790, 
John  French  was  recommended  for  ensign  and  John  Chapman 
for  Lieutenant.  At  the  June  term,  1804,  Isaac  Chapman  was 
recommended  as  Lieutenant  in  the  eighty-sixth  regiment  and 
John  French  recommended  as  Captain  in  the  second  Battalion 
of  the  eighty-sixth  regiment,  and  David  French  a  Lieutenant  in 
the  same.  At  the  October  Court,  1795,  William  Dingess  was  ap- 
pointed Deputy  Surveyor.  At  the  June  term,  1803 .  the  follow- 
ing order  was  entered:  "Henley  Chapman  Gentl.,  having  pro- 
duced a  license  under  the  signature  of  the  Honorable  Richard 
Parker,  Paul  Carrington,  Jr.,  and  Archibald  Stewart  permit- 
ting him  to  practice  as  attorney  in  the  Superior  and  Inferior 
Courts  within  this  Commonwealth,  and  having  taken  the  oaths 
required  by  law,  he  was  admitted  to  practice  in  this  court. 

Our  second  war  with  England,  usually  called  the  war  of 
1812,  drew  from  the  population  of  Giles  County  a  consider- 
able number  of  men,  who  served  at  different  periods  during 
its  existence.  Among  those  who  served  were  James  Straley, 
John   Straley,   Daniel   Straley,  Captain  John   Peters,   Julius 


Erected  in  1806. 

1795-1836  163 

Walker,  Berry  Blankenship,  James  Sarver,  John  Spangler, 
Capt.  C.  H.  A.  Walker,  William  Oney  and  many  others  whose 
names  the  author  has  not  been  able  to  secure.  Near  the  close 
of  the  war  Andrew  Johnston,  as  Captain,  marched  with  a  com- 
pany of  men  from  Giles  County,  who  were  ordered  to  report 
at  Norfolk,  Virginia.  On  their  way  thither,  on  reaching  Lib- 
erty, now  Bedford  City,  they  received  information  that  a 
treaty  of  peace  had  been  signed  and  that  their  services 
were  not  needed,  and  they  were  ordered  to  return  to  their 

There  came  into  the  County  of  Giles,  at  quite  an  early  date, 
a  family  by  the  name  of  Lucas,  who  became  very  notorious  on 
account  of  their  crimes.    There  were  other  families  of  Lucas' 
in  tlie  New  River  Valley,  and  some  in  the  county  of  Giles,  who 
were  people  of  standing  and  repute,  and  in  no  wise  related  to 
this   criminal  gang  generally  known  as  the  Randall  Lucas  Tribe. 
Jeremiah  Lucas,  a  son  of  Randall  on  May  28th,1814,  was  hang- 
ed in  the  public  square  of  Pearisburg  for  the  murder  of  Julius 
Walker,  committed  on  the  *Jth  day  of  the  April  preceding. 
Walker  was  a  soldier  of  the  war  of  1812,  and  during  his  ab- 
sence, Lucas  became  intimate  with  his,  Walker's,  wife,  and  on 
his  return  Lucas  determined  to  kill  him,  and  in  order  to  ac- 
complish his  purpose  he  feigned  friendship  for  him,  and  in- 
vited him  home  with  him,    and  on  their   way  along  the  New 
River  Cliffs  not  far  from  the  Eggleston  Springs,  Lucas  struck 
Walker  with  a  club  and  continued  to  beat  him  over  the  head 
until  he  supposed  him  dead  and  then  hid  him  away,  and  went 
on  to  Walker's  house  and  stajed  that  night,  and  as  is  not  un- 
common with  a  murderer  he  went  back  the  next  morning  to 
visit  the  spot  where  he  had  left  his  victim,  and  found  him  sit- 
ting upright  against  a  tree,  unable,  however,  to  move  or  get 
away.     Walker  begged  Lucas  to  spare  his  life  and  told  hira  if 
he  would  not  kill  him  that  as  soon  as  he  was  able  to  leave  the 
country  he  would  go  and  never  return,  and  would  say  nothing 
atbout  Lucas'  assault  upon  him.    Lucas  was  unrelenting-brute- 
like  and  clubbed  the  unfortunate  man  to  death.  So  soon  as  the 

164  New  River  Settlements 

murder  was  discovered,  the  murderer  fled,  taking  refuge  in  tl 
great  Butt  or  Salt  Tend  Mountain.  There  was  snow  on  th 
ground  at  the  time  and  a  posse  of  citizens  pursued  Lucas  an 
finally  ran  him  down  and  captured  him.  His  captor  was  Joh 
Marrs,  who  died  only  a  few  years  ago  in  Fayette  County,  Wes 
Virginia.  Lucas  was  promptly  indicted  in  the  month  follo-^ 
ing  his  capture,  quickly  tried,  convicted  and  sentenced  to  I 
hanged  on  the  2Sth  of  the  May  following.  The  names  of  tt 
jurors  who  tried  Lucas  are,  viz:  Joseph  Canterbury,  Job 
Eaton,  Joseph  Hare,  John  Chapman,  Isaac  McKinsey,  Phili 
Peters,  Edward  Hale,  Isaac  French,  Thomas  Clark,  Jam( 
Emmons,  William  Tracey,  and  John, (name  not  legible.)  Wi 
liam  Chapman,  Deputy  for  John  Chapman,  Sheriff  of  the  Coui 
ty,  carried  the  sentence  into  execution.  After  his  sentence  an 
while  awaiting  execution  the  jailor  of  the  county,  George  Joh] 
ston,  had  confined  his  prisoner  in  what  they  call  the  dungeoi 
and  on  giving  him  food  on  one  occasion,  Lucas,  who  was 
physical  giant,  struck  Johnston  over  the  head  with  his  han( 
cuffs,  felling  him  to  the  floor,  then  sprang  out  and  started  c 
a  run  to  escape;  Johnston,  the  jailor,  had  an  old  musket  loa( 
ed  with  powder  and  buck  shot,  which  he  kept  in  an  adjoiniu 
room,  and  as  soon  as  he  could  recover  himself  he  seized  tl 
musket  and  ran  out  into  the  street ;  but  by  this  time  Lucas  ha 
gone  more  than  150  yards  away,  when  Johnston  pulled  dow 
on  him  and  wounded  him  in  one  of  his  legs,  which  brought  hii 
to  the  ground,  and  the  jailor  soon  had  him  back  in  the  dui 

Michael  Montgole  and  family,  in  1821,  lived  on  the  end  of  th 
Little  Mountain,  just  below  the  mouth  of  Wolf  Creek,  in 
small  hollow,  a  few  hundred  yards  west  of  the  late  residenc 
of  the  late  Joseph  Hare,  Esq.  Montgole  was  accused  of  th 
murder  of  his  wife,  by  shooting  her  with  a  rifle  gun,  on  Jun 
16th,  1821.  He  claimed  that  the  shooting  was  accidental,  an 
insisted  upon  his  innocence.  He  was  arrested  and  promptly  ii 
dieted  by  the  Grand  Jury  of  Giles  County.  Feeling  agains 
him  was  so  strong  that  he  was  enabled  to  procure  a  change  c 


Born   1795,  Died  1905,  age   108  years    when  this  photograph    was  taken. 

1795-1836  165 

venue  to  the  Circuit  Court  of  the  County  of  Montgomery, 
wherein  he  was  tried  and  convicted  in  May,  1822,  and  executed 
on  the  21st  of  June,  1822.    He  died  protesting  his  innocence. 

Dave  Lucas,  another  son  of  Kandall's,  was  more  than  once  in 
the  Virginia  penitentiary  for  larceny  and  other  crimes,  and 
finally,  in  1841,  he  murdered  John  Poff,  of  Franklin  County, 
Virginia,  and  being  suspected  of  the  murder,  he  ran  away  into 
Botetourt  County,  where  he  was  arrested  and  brought  back, 
indicted  and  on  the  13th  day  of  May,  1842,  was  tried  by  a 
jury  composed  of  Robert  Farris,  Robert  Caldwell,  Christian 
Simmonds,  Olliver  C.  Peters,  Tobias  Miller,  Edward  Nelson, 
Reuben  Hughes,  St.  Clair  French,  Samuel  Thompson,  Joseph 
Fanning,  Charles  Miller,  and  Hiram  Pauley,  who  found  him 
guilty  of  murder  and  on  the  16th  day  of  the  same  month  he 
was  sentenced  to  be  hanged.  The  sentence  was  carried  into 
execution  June  24th,  1842,  by  Abalsom  Fry,  deputy  for  John 
Peck,  Sheriff  of  the  County.  Mr.  Fry  often  related  the  inci- 
dents connected  with  the  execution  of  this  man,  and  among 
others  the  funeral  sermon  preached  by  Rev,  Mr,  Harris,  a  Meth- 
odist minister,  on  the  day  of  execution,  and  that  the  text 
from  which  he  preached  was  "As  the  Lord  liveth  and  my  soul 
liveth  there  is  but  a  step  between  me  and  death." 

Thomas  Berry  Farley  was  the  principal  witness  against 
Lucas,  and  upon  his  testimony  he  was  convicted.  Farley  was 
born  in  1795,  on  Gatliff's  bottom  on  New  River,  in  what  is 
now  Summers  County,  West  Virginia,  and  died  in  Giles  Coun- 
ty, Virginia,  in  1903.  He  was  the  grandson  of  Thomas  Farley, 
who  settled  on  Culbertson's  bottom  now  in  Summers  County, 
about  the  year  of  1755. 

John,  a  third  son  of  Randall  Lucas  also  killed  a  man  and 
was  tried  for  his  life;  the  jury  however  found  him  guilty  of 
murder  in  the  second  degree  and  fixed  his  punishment  in  the 
penitentiary  at  nine  years. 

The  only  other  execution  for  murder  in  Giles  County   (1) 

(1).  On  March  23rd,  1906,  Morris  Cremeans  is  to  hang  for  the  mur- 
der of  one  Kidd. 

166  New  River  Settlements 

was  that  of  Maliala  Mason,  a  negro  woman  who  was  hanged 
May  14, 1852,  for  tlie  murder  of  i^allie,  a  negro  woman  the 
property  of  W.  B.  Mason,  The  murder  was  committed  on 
the  loth  day  of  January,  1853.  The  funeral  of  this  colored 
woman  was  preached  by  a  negro  preacher  by  the  name  of 
Harry  Chapman,  from  the  text :  "Put  thine  house  in  order,  for 
thou  must  die  and  not  live." 

In  the  early  history  of  Giles  County  there  were  some  very 
interesting  characters,  both  wags  and  wits,  among  the  num- 
ber one  John  Conley.  On  an  occasion  Mr.  Conley  was  passing 
over  the  old  County  road  across  Cloyd's  Mountain,  and  meet- 
ing Mr.  Frank  Wysor  riding  in  a  two  wheeled  vehicle,  Conley 
accosted  Mr.  Wysor,  who  had  a  very  large  nose,  saying  to  him, 
"Stranger  turn  your  nose  to  one  side  until  I  can  get  by  it."  Mr. 
Wysor  did  as  requested,  and  after  he  had  passed  Mr.  Conley 
in  the  road,  he  stopped  his  horse  and  called  to  Conley,  saying, 
"Old  man,  wouldn't  you  like  to  have  a  drink  this  morning?"  to 
which  Mr.  Conley  replied  he  would.  Mr.  Wysor  dismounted 
from  his  vehicle,  taking  a  bottle  therefrom  and  placing  it  on 
the  ground,  told  Mr.  Conley  to  help  himself,  and  as  Mr.  Conley 
stooped  down  to  reach  for  the  bottle  Mr.  Wysor  with  his  fist 
struck  him  on  the  side  of  the  head,  knocking  him  over  the  brac- 
ing of  the  road,  and  when  Mr.  Conley  recovered  himself  Mr. 
Wysor  was  in  his  vehicle  and  several  hundred  yards  away. 

One  Chrispianos  Walker,  a  young  man  at  that  time  who  liv- 
ed with  liit^  father  on  New  River,  opposite  the  mouth  of  Wolf 
Creek,  had  fallen  in  love  with  a  young  lady,  a  Miss  Peters, 
whose  parents  lived  nearly  two  miles  above  Walker's,  on  the 
river.  They  were  engaged  to  be  married,  but  the  match  was 
vigorously  opposed  by  the  girl's  parents,  and  Walker  was  for- 
bidden the  house  and  the  girl  put  under  watch,  but  Mr.  Walk- 
er succeeded  through  some  one  in  informing  his  betrothed  that 
at  a  given  time  he  would  be  at  his  father's  house,  have  the  nec- 
essary papers  and  the  preacher  on  hand,  and  for  her  to  at- 
tempt to  make  her  escape  at  the  time  he  had  indicated.  So,early 
one  morning,  the  young  lady  suddenly  disappeared  from  her 

1795-1836  167 

home;  her  absence  soon  being  detected  she  was  pursued  by  two 
of  her  brothers,  but  out,ran  them,  reaching  Mr.  Walker's  house; 
and  springing  in  at  the  door  almost  breathless  she  cried  out  to 
her  lover  "now  or  never."  Her  intended  husband  was  still  in 
bed  when  she  reached  the  door,  but  he  immediately  sprang  out, 
having  on  but  one  garment,  and  the  preacher  then  and  there 
said  the  ceremony,  at  the  conclusion  of  which  the  brothers  ap- 
peared, but  too  late. 

About  the  year  of  1829,  there  appeared  in  Giles  County  (2)  a 
quaint  eccentric  man,  about  thirty  years  of  age,  by  the  name 
of  Norman  Eoberts,  Avho  came  from  Massachusetts,  and  many 
interesting  stories  are  told  of  his  peculiar  doings  and  sayings. 
A  gentleman  driving  a  wild  cow  met  Roberts  at  the  forks  of  a 
road,  and  the  cow  taking  the  wrong  road,  the  one  on  which 
Eoberts  was  approaching,  called  out  to  Roberts:  "head  that 
cow."  Roberts  replied,  "She  is  already  headed."  He  then  said 
to  Roberts  "Turn  that  cow,"  to  which  Roberts  replied  "She  al- 
ready has  the  right  side  out,"  and  the  man  then  said  to  Rob- 
erts "Speak  to  that  cow,"  whereupon  Roberts  said  "Goodbye, 
cow."  Roberts  wore  long  hair,  lived  in  caves,  and  often  hid 
himself  from  his  fellowmen.  The  young  girls  were  afraid  of 
him,  as  he  pretended  to  make  love  to  all  he  met  with  He  died 
in  Mercer  County,  West  Virginia,  about  1854. 

A  brief  history  will  be  given  of  the  general  laws,  Legisla- 
tive and  Constitutional,  bearing  upon  the  subject  of  suifrage, 
which  will  lead  up  to  the  assembling  and  action  of  the  Vir- 
ginia people  in  holding  various  Constitutional  conventions. 
Sir  George  Yeardley,  governor  of  Virginia,  arrived  in  April, 
1619,  he  was  the  first  to  summon  a  General  Assembly  to  be 
held  by  the  inhabitants,  every  free  man  voting,  and  which  was 
to  make  laws  for  the  government  of  the  country.  He  issued 
his  summons  in  June,  and  on  July  30th,  1619,  the  first  Legis- 
lative body  that  ever  sat  in  America  assembled  at  Jamestown, 
the  then  capital  of  Virginia.    This  was  a  notable  event,  and 

(2).  The  first  newspaper,  called  "The  Southwest,"  was  published 
by  John  Sower,  about  1858,  and  the  first  picture  gallery  by  Bushong,  in 

108  New  River  Settlements 

portended  radical  changes  in  the  form  of  government.  Pop- 
ular right  in  America  had  entered  on  life  and  the  long  strug- 
gle to  hold  its  own.  Whatever  might  be  the  issue,  the  fact  re- 
mains thair  at  least  it  had  been  born.  Here  commenced  the 
question  of  popular  and  restricted  suffrage  which  has  agita- 
ted the  body  politic  from  that  time  to  the  present.  In  1G70  suf- 
frage was  restricted  to  free-holders  and  housekeepers.  From 
the  first  years  of  the  colony  to  1655  all  the  settlers  had  a  voice 
in  public  affairs,  first  in  the  daily  matters  of  the  Hundreds, 
and  after  1019  in  electing  Burgesses.  In  the  year  1055  the 
Burgesses  declared  that  none  but,  "Housekeepers,  whether 
freeholders,  leaseholders  or  otherwise  tenants  should  be  capa- 
ble to  elect  Burgesses."  In  the  year  of  1050  the  ancient  usage 
was  restored  and  all  freemen  were  allowed  to  vote.  In  1070, 
the  first  act  restricting  the  suffrage  was  restored,  and  this,  it 
seems, was  thenceforth  the  determinate  sentiment,  with  the  ex- 
ception of  the  year,  1070,  when  Bacon's  Assembly  changed  it 
and  declared  that  freemen  should  again  vote.  This  however, 
was  swept  away  by  tlie  general  abrogation  of  all  Bacon's 
Laws,  and  the  freehold  restriction  was  thus  restored,  and  was 
in  operation  when  the  Virginia  convention  assembled  in  1776. 
That  convention  provided  in  the  Constitution  which  it  framed 
that  "the  right  of  suffrage  in  the  election  of  members  for  both 
Houses  shall  remain  as  exercised  at  present;"  and  this  remain- 
ed the  law  until  the  assembling  of  the  convention  of  1829-30. 

On  the  5th  day  of  October,  1829,  a  convention  of  delegates 
from  the  senatorial  districts  of  the  CommonwealtJi  of  Virginia 
began  its  session  in  the  city  of  Richmond.  James  Monroe, 
Esq.,  ex-president  of  the  United  States,  was  elected  presi- 
dent of  the  convention,  but  on  account  of  ill  health  served  only 
for  a  short  time,  being  succeeded  by  Philip  P.  Barbour. 

From  the  15th  senatorial  district,  composed  of  tJie  counties 
of  Montgomery,  Giles,  Wytbe  and  Grayson,  the  following  gen- 
tlemen were  elected  as  delegates  to  said  convention,  viz :  Gen- 
eral Gordon  Cloyd,  of  Montgomery,  Henley  Chapman,  of  Giles, 
John  P.  Matthews,  of  Wythe  and  William  Oglesby,  of  Grayson. 

1837-1861  169 

The  Constituion  framed  by  this  convention  made  many  rad- 
ical changes  in  the  organic  law  of  the  state,  and  enlarged  or 
rather  extended,  the  right  of  suffrage  to  persons  who  had  not 
theretofore  exercised  the  same;  but  it  failed  to  give  satisfac- 
tion to  the  people  west  of  the  Alleghanies. 

The  vote  in  the  convention  on  the  adoption  of  the  Constitu- 
tion as  engrossed,  and  as  a  whole,  was  taken  thereon  on  Jan- 
uary 14th,  1830,  and  stood  55  for  and  forty  against.  Of  the 
forty  votes  cast  against  the  adoption  of  the  instrument,  twen- 
ty were  by  delegates  from  west  of  the  Alleghanies,  and  whose 
names  are  as  follows,  viz:  Andrew  Beirne,  William  Smith, 
Fleming  B.  Miller,  John  Baxter,  William  Naylor,  William 
Donaldson,  John  B.  George,  Andrew  McMillan,  Edward 
Campbell,  William  Byars,  Gordon  Cloyd,  Henley  Chapman, 
John  P.  Matthews,  William  Oglesby,  Edwin  S.  Duncan,  John 
Laidley,  Lewis  Summers,  Adam  See,  Alexander  Campbell,  and 
E.  M.  Wilson.  The  constitution  was  adopted  by  the  people  by 
a  majority  if  10,492  votes. 

About  1832  and  for  some  years  subsequently  the  incorpora- 
tion and  building  of  turnpike  roads  gave  great  impetus  to  the 
trade  of  the  century ;  among  these  roads  Price's  Mountain  and 
Cumberland  Gap  turnpike,  Wythe,  Raleigh  and  Grayson  and 
Giles,  Fayette  and  Kanawha.  (1.) 



Formation  of  Mercer  County — Its  Boundaries,  Etc. — Courts 
Organized — First  Grand  Jury  empanneled — Popular  elec- 
tion— Including  election  of  Members  of  Secession  Con- 

In  the   election  held  in  the  county  of  Giles  in  1836  for  dele- 

(1)     The  Va.   &  Tennessee  Railroad   extended   west   of  New  River 
about  1856  and  the  C.  &  O.  Ry.  about  1872. 

170  New  River  Settlements 

gate  for  Legislature,  Daniel  Hale,  Esq.,  of  Wolf  Creek,  was 
choseu.  The  people  living  along  the  Flat  Top  Mountain, 
Bluestone  and  its  upper  waters  and  Brush  Creek,  partly  with- 
in the  territory  of  Giles  and  partly  within  the  territory  of 
Tazewell,  finding  themselves  greatly  inconvenienced  by  the 
distance  they  had  to  travel  to  their  County  seat,  determined 
to  have  a  new  County,  and  so  petitioned  the  General  Assembly 
of  Virginia.  Among  the  petitioners  were  Captain  George  W. 
Pearis,  Colonel  Daniel  H.  Pearis,  William  White,  Cornelius 
White,  Captain  William  Smith,  William  H.  Fr^ncli,  Joseph 
Davidson,  (2)  John  Davidson  ,James  Calfee,  Isaac  (ioi'e,  r^lijah 
Bailey,  and  various  others,  then  living  within  the  territory  of 
the  proposed  new  County.  The  bill  was  introduced,  passed,  and 
became  a  law  on  the  17th  day  of  March,  1837.  The  act  in  so  far 
as  the  boundaries  of  the  new  County  is  concerned  is  as  fol- 
lows :  ''Be  it  enacted  by  the  General  Assembly,  that  all  that 
part  of  the  counties  of  Giles  and  Tazewell  contained  witliin  the 
following  boundary  lines,  to-wit:  Beginning  at  the  mouth  of 
East  River,in  Giles  County,and  following  tlie  meanders  thereof 
up  to  Toney's  mill  dam ;  thence  along  the  top  of  said  mounain. 
East  River  Mountain,  (the  line  from  Toney's  mill  dam  to  the 
top  of  the  mountain  was  evidently  omitted  in  the  act)  ;  to  a 
point  opposite  the  upper  end  of  the  old  plantation  of  Jesse  Bel- 
cher, deceased,  thence  a  straight  line  to  Peery's  mill  dam  near 
the  mouth  of  Alp's  (Abb's)  Valley,  thence  to  a  point  well 
known  by  the  name  of  the  Peeled  (Pealed)  Chestnuts,  thence 
to  the  top  of  the  Flat  Top  Mountain,  thence  along  said  moun- 
tain to  New  River,  thence  up  and  along  tlie  various  meander- 
ings  of  the  same  to  the  beginning,  shall  form  one  distinct  and 
new  County,  and  be  called  and  known  by  the  name  of  Mercer 
County,  in  memory  of  General  Hugh  Mercer,  who  fell  at  Prince- 
ton." The  Governor  was  authorized  to  api)oint  eighteen  per- 
sons as  Justices  of  the  Peace  for  tlie  County,  the  Justices  then 

(2)  Made  settlements  in  Wright's  Valley,  within  what  is  now  the 
corporate  limits  of  the  city  of  BUiefield,  West  Virginia,  and  built  what 
la  known  as  "Davidson's  House,"  in  Hick's  Addition;  was  a  son  of  John 
Goolman  Davidson. 

1837-1861  171 

in  commission  residing  in  that  part  of  Giles  and  Tazewell 
Counties,  which  will  be  in  Mercer  County  after  the  commence- 
ment of  the  act  were  to  be  of  the  number  to  be  commissioned 
for  the  new  County.  The  following  are  the  names  of  those  who 
held  commissions  as  Justices  of  the  Peace  within  the  territory 
of  the  new  County,  viz :  Captain  William  Smith,  Captain  C.  H. 
A.  Walker,  Elijah  Peters,  John  Davidson,  John  Brown,  Robert 
Gore,  Robert  Lilley,  Robert  Hall. 

A  court  for  the  County  was  directed  to  be  held  on  the  second 
Monday  of  every  month.  The  following  named  genlemen  were 
by  the  act  to  locate  the  site  of  justice  for  the  county,  to- 
wit:  Thomas  Kirk,  of  the  County  of  Giles,  James  Harvey,  of 
the  County  of  Tazewell,  Joseph  Stratton,  of  the  county  of  Lo- 
gan, and  Henry  B.  Hunter,  of  the  County  of  Greenbrier. 

The  first  meeting  of  the  justices  for  organization  was  to  be 
at  the  residence  of  James  Calfee,  (Gladeville  about  one  mile 
west  of  Princeton),  on  the  second  Monday  in  April,  1837. 

The  County  by  the  said  act  was  attached  to  the  same  judicial 
circuit  with  the  County  of  Giles ;  the  circuit  superior  Courts  of 
Law  and  Chancery  to  be  held  on  the  first  days  of  May  and  Oc- 

Philip  Lybrook,  of  the  County  of  Giles,  John  H.  Vawter,  of 
the  County  of  Monroe,  and  John  B.  George,  of  the  County  of 
Tazewell  were  named  as  commissioners  to  run  and  mark  the 
lines  between  the  Counties  of  Giles  and  Tazewell  and  County 
of  Mercer,  and  make  report  to  the  County  Courts  of  each  Coun- 
ty. It  may  here  be  noted  that  the  line  between  Wythe  and 
Montgomery  crossed  the  County  of  Mercer  from  a  point  on 
East  River  near  the  present  Ingleside  station,  and  running 
northwest  passed  a  little  to  the  west  of  the  public  burying 
ground  at  Princeton,  crossing  Bluestone  at  the  Clover  Bottom. 
The  Giles  and  Tazewell  County  lines  crossed  about  three 
miles  west  of  Princeton ;  the  Big  Spring  at  Jarrell's  being  one 
of  the  points  on  this  line,  and  the  mouth  of  Milton's  fork  on 
Bluestone,  and  head  of  Crane  Creek  another. 

The  County  Court  met  on  the  second  Monday  in  April  and 

172  New  River  Settlements 

elected  Moses  E.  Kerr,  Clerk,  and  named  Captain  William 
Smith  as  Sheriff,  who  was  afterwards  duly  commissioned  as 
such  by  tlie  Governor  of  the  Commonwealth.  Captain  Smith 
named  John  Jarrell  as  his  Deputy,  and  he  was  duly  appointed. 
Robert  Hall  was  appointed  Surveyor  of  the  County. 

The  Commissioners  to  locate  the  place  on  which  to  erect  the 
public  buildings  for  the  County,  did  so  on  a  plat  of  land  donat- 
ed by  Captain  William  Smith,  and  near  the  Glady  fork  of 
Brush  Creek,  about  one  mile  east  of  Gladeville,  and  the  same  on 
which  the  present  Court  House  of  Mercer  County  now  stands. 
The  question  of  the  name  of  the  County  town  was  debated, 
some  wishing  to  call  it  Banesville  for  Mr.  Howard  Bane,  one  of 
the  Commissioners,  but  finally  as  the  more  appropriate,  they 
called  it  Princeton,  inasmuch  as  the  county  was  named  in  mem- 
ory of  General  Hugh  Mercer,  who  fell  at  Princeton,  that  it  was 
altogether  proper  to  name  the  County  town  for  the  place  where 
General  Mercer  fell  mortally  wounded. 

The  first  Circuit  Court  for  the  County  was  held  on  the  1st 
day  of  May,  1837,  by  Judge  James  E.  Brown,  of  Wythe,  who 
appointed  John  M.  Cunningham  Clerk,  and  Thomas  J.  Boyd, 
Attorney  for  the  Commonwealth. 

The  first  grand  jury  empanneled  for  Mercer  County  was 
composed  of  the  following  named  gentlemen :  Robert  Hall, 
John  Martin,  Sr.,  Christian  S.  Peters,  Green  W.  Meadows, 
John  Walker,  George  W.  Pearis,  James  M.  Bailey,  John  David- 
son, Archibald  Bailey,  William  Cooper,  Richard  Runion,Thom- 
as  Maxwell,  Joseph  McKinney,  Jr.,  Joshua  L.  Mooney,  Wil- 
liam Ferguson,  Achilles  Fannon,  Philip  P.  Bailey,  Chrispianos 
Walker,  Samuel  Bailey,  William  Garretson,  Lewis  M.  Wilson, 
Robert  B.  Davidson  and  Josiah  Ferguson.  The  following  At- 
torneys were  admitted  to  practice  at  the  first  and  second 
terms  of  the  Court:  viz:  Joseph  Stras,  Albert  G.  Pendleton, 
Thomas  J.  Boyd,  A.  A.  Chapman,  M.  Chapman,  A.  T.  Caper- 
ton  and  David  Hall. 

A  list  of  all  the  judges,  attorneys,  clerks,  justices  of  the 
peace,  including  names  of  members  of  the  house  of  delegates 

1837-1861  173 

will  be  found  in  the  appendix  to  this  work,  covering  as  far  as 
possible  the  period  from  the  first  organization  of  civil  govern- 
ment within  the  territory  of  which  Mercer  County  had  formed 
a  part  down  to  the  date  of  the  completing  of  this  work. 

Since  the  date  of  the  act  creating  the  County  of  Mercer  there 
has  been  three  changes  in  its  boundary  lines.  Under  an  act  au- 
thorizing it,  the  line  between  Mercer  and  Tazewell  from  the  top 
of  East  River  Mountain  to  Peery's  mill  dam,  was  run,  throwing 
a  small  strip  of  the  territory  of  Tazewell  into  Mercer.  In  1841 
on  its  eastern  border,  by  an  act  of  the  Legislature,  the  line 
along  New  River  at  Wiley's  Falls  to  the  Touey  mill  dam  was 
changed  so  as  to  run  from  said  mill  dam  a  straight  line  to  Wi- 
ley's falls;  thus  cutting  off  a  small  strip  of  territory  from  Mer- 
cer and  adding  it  to  Giles  County.  In  1871  the  county  of  Sum- 
mers was  created,  and  all  that  part  of  the  territory  of  Mercer 
County  lying  east  and  northeast  of  a  line  drawn  from  Round 
Bottom  on  the  west  side  of  New  River  to  Brammer's  Gate  on 
the  top  of  Flat  Top  Mountain  was  stricken  off  to  the  County 
of  Summers,  leaving  to  Mercer  about  420  square  miles. 

Some  of  the  men  who  aided  in  securing  and  organizing 
the  County  of  Mercer  had  come  over  the  Alleghenies  a  few 
years  after  the  close  of  the  American  Revolution,  and  some 
were  the  sons  and  grandsons  of  men  who  had  come  prior  to 
the  Revolution.  Those  who  came  during  the  war  for  indepen- 
dence were  called  ''Over  Mountain  or  Peace  men"  for  the  rea- 
son that  they  were  from  over  the  mountains,  and  Peace  men, 
because  it  was  supposed  that  many  of  them  were  opposed  to 
war  with  Great  Britain,  but  this  could  not  be  true  of  all,  be- 
cause many  came  before  the  Revolution  began,  and  a  large 
number  of  those  who  came  fought  gallantly  in  several  battles ; 
notably.  King's  Mountain,  Shallow  Ford  of  the  Yadkin,  Wet- 
zell's  Mills,  and  Guilford  Court  House. 

It  is  doubtless  true  that  there  were  Tories  in  the  New  River 
Valley  region,  mostly  however  on  the  upper  waters  of  the  New 
River.  Colonel  Preston,  when  requested  to  secure  the  British 
and  Tory  prisoners  captured  at  the  battle  of  King's  Mountain, 

174  New  River  Settlements 

in  stockades  to  be  built  at  Fort  Chiswell  answered,  "that  he 
did  not  regard  the  phice  as  secure,  as  there  were  more  Tories 
in  Montgomery  County  than  any  other  county  of  Virginia." 
It  is  certain  that  some  among  the  most  prominent  families  of 
today  in  the  New  River  Valley,  and  upon  the  Clinch  waters 
are  the  descendants  of  Tory  ancestors  during  the  Revolution. 
For  fear  of  giving  offense  or  wounding  the  feelir^s  of  the  more 
sensitive,  no  names  are  here  mentioned,  but  no  just  reason  can 
be  assigned  why  men  of  that  day  may  not  have  well  been  on 
the  King's  side.  It  was  at  least  a  question  of  opinion  as  to 
who   was  right  and  who  was  wrong. 

Returning  to  the  organization  of  Mercer  County  it  will  be 
noted  that  the  justices  met  and  chose  one  of  their  number  as 
Presiding  Justice,  and  this  was  what  had  substantial'y  been 
provided  by  former  laws. 

Captain  William  Smith,  who  was  born  in  the  County  of 
Rockingham,  Virginia,  in  1774,  came  to  the  New  River  Valley 
with  his  father  and  family  when  a  small  lad.  He  had  often  be- 
fore, as  well  as  after  1837,  been  honored  by  his  fellowmen.  He 
was  the  Presiding  Justice  of  Mercer  County  for  twelve  years, 
and  although  not  a  man  of  letters,  without  education  in  the 
common  acceptation  of  the  term,  only  able  to  write  his  name 
and  that  mechanically,  for  he  could  write  nothing  else,  but  his 
high  sense  of  honor,  coupled  with  his  great  native  ability  and 
common  sense,  commended  him  to  the  favor  of  his  fellow  citi- 
zens, who  not  only  honored  him  by  keeping  him  in  the  of- 
fice of  Justice  of  the  Peace  and  making  him  the  presiding  offi- 
cer of  the  court  for  a  long  term  of  years,  but  the  court  had  his 
portrait  painted,  framed  and  hung  over  the  judicial  bench  in 
the  Court  House,  where  it  remained  until  the  destruction  of 
that  building  on  the  1st  day  of  May,  1862. 

Captain  Smith  was  several  times  elected  to  the  House  of 
Delegates  of  Virginia  as  the  representative  of  the  County  of 
Giles,  and  of  Mercer  and  Giles  after  the  formation  of  Mercer. 
He  was  a  candidate  for  the  Legislature  twelve  times  and  was 
elected  six  times. 

1837-1861  175 

The  first  settler  at  the  place  where  the  town  of  Princeton  ia 
situated,  was  French  C.  Smith,  who  was  a  son  of  one  Ezekiel 
Smith,  who  went  to  Texas  in  the  early  thirties,  was  captured 
by  the  Mexicans  and  kept  in  confinement  for  five  years. 
French  C.  Smith,  the  son,  shortly  after  his  father  left  the  coun- 
try for  Texas,  also  went  there,  and  became  quite  a  prominent 
figure  in  Texas  politics,  having  been  the  Whig  candidate  for 
Governor  against  General  Sam  Houston,  the  Democratic  can- 
didate, and  by  whom  Smith  was  defeated  by  a  large  majority. 

The  first  merchant  to  open  a  store  at  Princeton  was  Theo- 
dore Jordan,  who  was  followed  by  Captain  William  H.  Howe, 
George  W.  and  Daniel  H,  Pearis,  Ward  and  Gibbony,  John- 
ston and  Pearis,  Pack  and  Vawter,  John  A,  Pack  &  Co.,  Scott 
P^mmons  &  Pearis,  Pearis  &  Mahood,  John  W.  Smith,  Brown  & 
Shumate.  (1) 

The  first  hotel  keepers  were  James  M.  Bailey  and  Charles 
W.  Calfee,  who  were  followed  later  by  George  W.  and  Daniel 
H.  Pearis  and  J.  H.  Alvis.  Daniel  Straley  was  the  first  Black- 
smith, followed  later  by  George  B.  Newlee,  and  later  by  J.  W. 
Dorsey.  The  first  shoemaker  was  Isham  Brinkley,  followed 
by  Crockett  Scott,  and  the  first  tanners  were  Thompson  & 
Chapman.  The  first  Court  House  was  built  in  1839  by  a  man 
by  the  name  of  Ledbetter.  Mercer  County  enjoys  the  distinc- 
tion of  having  had  more  Court  Houses  than  any  other  county 
in  the  state  and  promises  to  build  still  more.  The  first  Court 
House  was  so  badly  erected  that  it  had  to  be  taken  down  and 
rebuilt,  and  this  was  destroyed  when  the  town  of  Princeton 
was  burned  in  1862.  The  third,  in  part  built  at  Concord 
Church  by  George  Evans,  contractor,  and  abandoned  after 
an  expenditure  of  several  thousand  dollars ;  the  fourth  built  in 
1874  by  Andrew  Fillinger  was  destroyed  by  fire  in  1875,  sup- 
posed to  be  the  work  of  an  incendiary;  the  fifth  and  present 
one  with  the  additions  thereto  was  built  in  1876  by  D.  W.  Mc- 
Claugherty  in  part  and  also  later  by  John  C.  Darst;  and  it 
is  now  seriously  proposed  to  build  the  sixth  one  at  Bluefield, 

(1)     Dr.  R.  B.  McNutt  was  the  first  resident  pliysician. 

176  New  Kiver  Settlements 

that  is,  whenever  the  necessary  vote  of  the  people  can  be  had 
removing  the  County  seat  to  Bluefield. 

For  a  number  of  years  the  Counties  of  Giles  and  Mercer 
sent  a  delegate  to  the  Legislature.  The  political  parties  in  the 
two  counties  were  very  closely  and  equally  divided. 

The  census  of  1840,  the  first  taken  after  the  creation  of  the 
county  of  Mercer  showed  a  population  of  2,243  people.  Many 
fierce  political  battles  were  fought  in  the  two  counties,  from 
the  year  of  1840  to  that  of  1854.  These  spirited  political  con- 
tests were  usually  over  two  oflBces,  member  of  the  house  of 
Delegates  and  the  office  of  Sheriff. 

In  the  year  of  1841  Oscar  F.  Johnston  defeated  Captain 
William  Smith  for  the  House  of  Delegates.  In  the  year  of 
1842  William  H.  French  defeated  Chapman  I.  Johnston  for 
the  House  of  Delegates. 

Before  proceeding  to  relate  incidents  occurring  in  later  con- 
tests, it  will  here  be  mentioned  that  two  quite  distinguished 
gentlemen  and  members  of  the  bar,  viz:  Albert  G.  Pendleton 
and  Nathaniel  Harrison,  over  a  trifling  matter  came  very 
near  venturing  out  on  tlie  field  of  honor  to  settle  their  differen- 
es;  the  interposition  of  mutual  friends  settled  the  difficulty, 
and  no  blood  was  shed. 

In  the  year  of  1843  the  contest  for  the  House  of  Delegates 
was  between  William  H.  French  of  Mercer,  the  Whig  candidate 
and  Albert  G.  Pendleton,  of  Giles,  the  Democratic  candidate,  in 
which  contest  French  won  by  eleven  votes.  At  that  day  there 
were  only  two  voting  places  in  the  county  of  Mercer,  one  at 
Princton  and  the  other  at  Pipestem.  It  was  customary  and 
usual  in  those  days  for  the  opposing  candidates  to  get  to- 
gether at  the  Court  House  on  the  day  of  an  election  and  sit  in 
the  polling  room.  The  voting  then  was  viva  voce,  and  when  an 
elector  cast  his  vote,  the  candidate  for  whom  he  voted  express- 
ed his  satisfaction  by  publicly  thanking  him.  A  very  amusing 
little  incident  as  well  as  a  clever  trick  occurred  at  Princeton 
in  the  election  between  French  and  Pendleton,  and  is  deemed 
worthy  of  relating  here.     French,  the  Whig  candidate  was  at 

1837-1861  177 

rinceton  on  the  day  of  the  election  sitting  in  the  polling 
lace.  Captain  George  W.  Pearis,  a  very  ardent  democrat, 
nd  known  to  be  the  special  champion  and  friend  of  Colonel 
'endleton,  lived  at  Princeton  and  had  charge  of  Mr.  Pendle- 
3ns  interest  at  that  place  on  the  day  of  election.  Only  those 
ould  vote  who  had  a  freehold,  and  were  assessed  with  some 
art  of  the  public  revenue  and  had  paid  the  same. 

One  Samuel  Waldron,  who  lived  about  1%  miles  southeast 
f  where  the  city  of  Bluefield  is  now  located,  but  who  under 
he  law  was  not  a  voter,  was  present  at  the  election  at  Prince- 
on  and  expressed  to  Captain  I*earis  his  desire  to  vote,  and  in- 
uired  of  Captain  Pearis  whether  he,  Waldron,  was  a  legal  vo- 
er.     Being  informed  by  Pearis  that  he  did  not  think  he  was, 
ut  that  if  he  would  vote  for  Pendleton  he  thought  he  could 
rrange  the  matter  for  him.     Out  of  the  three  commissioners 
onducting  the  election,  two  of  them  were  Whigs  and  known 
riends  of  French.    Captain  Pearis  told  Waldron  to  go  in  and 
iffer  his  vote,  and  that  when  his  name  was  called  he,  Pearis, 
^ould  suddenly  appear  at  the    Court  House    door    and  chal- 
enge  his  vote,  and  that  he  had  no  doubt  that  the  commission- 
irs  would  promptly  decide   that  he   was  a  legal  voter.     Wal- 
Iron  appeared  before  the  commissioners  and  expressed  his  de- 
iire  to  vote,  and  the  Crier  called  out  ''Samuel  Waldron,  who 
io  you  vote  for?"     Before  he  could  answer  Captain  Pearis 
ippeared  at  the  door  and  shouted  at  the  top  of  his  voice,  "I 
challenge  that  vote,  that  man  is  not  a  voter."    From  these  cir- 
mmstances  French's  friends  concluded  that  Waldron  wanted 
to  vote  for  him,  and  they  promptly  decided  that  he  was  a  qual- 
ified voter,  and  being  again  inquired  of  as  for  whom  he  wished 
to  vote,  he  replied,  "Pendleton,"  much  to  the  chagrin  and  dis- 
appointment of  French  and  his  friends.    Another  incident  oc- 
curing  at  this  same  election  is  worth  telling  as  Mr.  Pendleton 
was  the  butt  of  the  joke  this  time.    Mr.  Pendleton  very  early 
on  the  morning  of  election  day  on  his  way  to  Pipestem  voting 
place,  went  several  miles  out  of  his  way  to  see  Mr.  John  Com- 
er, who  lived  on  Christian's  Ridge  and  after  a  talk  with  Com- 

178  New  River  Settlements 

er,  was  led  to  believe  that  he  was  a  friend  and  would  vote  for 
him,  so  he  took  him  u})  on  his  horse  behind  him  and  rode  to 
the  polling  place  about  ten  miles  away,  and  when  Comer's 
name  was  called  by  the  Crier  at  the  polls,  Comer  shouted 

A  few  years  after  this  Cornelius  White  was  elected  to  the 
House  of  Delegates  from  the  counties  of  Mercer  and  Giles. 
Mr.  White  was  a  plain  farmer,  without  much  education,  but 
a  man  of  good  native  sense.  After  reaching  Richmond  and 
entering  the  House  he  introduced  a  bill  of  some  local  nature, 
touching  some  local  matters  connected  with  roads,  and  seem- 
ed to  have  taken  no  further  interest  in  the  bill  until  within  a 
day  or  two  of  the  close  of  the  session,  when  he  inquired  of 
some  friend  if  he  knew  anything  of  his  bill  and  being  answered 
in  the  negative,  Mr.  White  inquired  what  he  should  do  about 
it;  his  friend  told  him  to  call  up  the  bill  and  ask  for  unani- 
mous consent  to  i)ut  the  bill  on  its  passage.  The  next  morning 
at  the  opening  of  the  session.  Mr.  White  addressed  the  Speak- 
er telling  him  about  the  bill  and  how  anxious  he  was  to  have 
it  pass  and  then  said  ''Mr.  Speaker,  if  you  will  take  up  that  bill 
and  have  it  passed  I  promise  you  that  I  will  show  you  the 
frog  of  my  foot  to-morrow  morning." 

In  the  year  of  1847  difficulties  growing  out  of  relations  be- 
tween the  United  States  and  Mexico  brought  on  war  between 
the  two  countries.  No  organized  troops  went  from  either  of 
the  two  Counties  of  Giles  or  Mercer,  though  Col.  Daniel  H. 
Pearls,  the  commandant  of  the  militia  of  the  latter  County, 
sought  to  obtain  a  commission  as  Colonel  of  the  Virginia  reg- 
iment then  being  organized  for  the  field,  but  failed,  the  com- 
mission being  given  to  Colonel  John  M.  Hamptrampeh,  and  to 
John  Randolph  as  Lieutenant  Colonel,  and  to  Jubal  A.  Early 
as  Major. 

Captain  James  F.  Preston,  of  Montgomery  Count)',  raised 
in  that  County  a  company  which  was  attached  to  the  Virginia 
Regiment.  Many  of  these  men  who  went  with  the  Virginia 
Regiment    to    Mexico,    became    distinguished    soldiers  in  our 

1837-1861  179 

ate  Civil  War :  viz :  Jubal  A.  Early  became  a  Lieutenant  Gen- 
ral,  Captain  James  F.  Preston  became  Colonel  of  the  Fourth 
Virginia  Regiment  of  the  Stonewall  Brigade,  Robert  D.  Card- 
er succeeded  Preston  in  command  of  the  Fourth  Regiment, 
Charles  A.  Ronald  also  became  Colonel  of  this  Regiment,  and 
t  one  time  commanded  the  Stonewall  Brigade,  Joel  Black- 
rd  became  Captain  of  the  first  company  from  Giles  County, 
nd  while  such  was  killed  in  the  battle  of  Frazier's  farm  in 
862,  W,  W.  McComas,  a  prominent  physician  of  Giles  Coun- 
y,  as  Captain  led  a  company  of  artillery  from  that  County, 
osing  his  life  in  the  battle  of  South  Mills,  N.  C.  Judge  Rob- 
rt  A.  Richardson,  at  one  time  a  Judge  of  the  Supreme  Court 
f  Appeals  of  Virginia,  was  a  soldier  in  the  Mexican  war,  and 
3d  the  first  company  from  Mercer  County  into  the  civil  War, 
mdrew  J.  Grisby,  who  aided  in  the  organization  of  the  first 
ompany  of  volunteers  that  left  Giles  County,  was  made  Ma- 
or  of  the  27th  Virginia  regiment  of  the  Stonewall  Brigade, 
iterwards  becoming  Colonel  of  that  regiment,  and  several 
imes  in  command  of  the  Brigade,  was  a  member  of  Doni- 
>han's  regiment  of  Missouri  Cavalry  in  the  Mexican  war.  Har- 
ey  Wall,  who  long  lived  in  Mercer  County,  was  a  member  of 
yap  tain  Preston's  company,  as  well  and  Daniel  H.  Harman, 
>f  Boone  County,  West  Virginia,  Benjamin  Linkous,  another 
nember  of  Preston's  company,  became  a  Colonel  of  a  Confed- 
erate regiment,  and  Greenbury  Chandler,  who  was  with  Pres- 
on  in  Mexico,  became  a  Confederate  officer  and  was  slain  in 
:he  battle  of  Piedmont  Virginia. 

Another  step  forward  w^as  to  be  taken  by  the  Virginia  peo- 
ple in  the  enlargement  of  the  right  to  vote,  and  a  convention 
assembled  at  Richmond  on  the  14th.  day  of  October,1850,  and 
framed  a  constitution  which  was  adopted,  whereby  the  re- 
strictions upon  the  right  of  suffrage  were  practically  swept 
away;  excluding  only  persons  of  unsound  mind,  paupers,  non- 
commissioned oflScers,  soldiers,  seamen,  and  marines  in  the 
service  of  the  United  States,  and  persons  who  had  been  con- 
victed of  bribery  in  an  election  or  of  any  infamous  offense. 

ISO  New  River  Settlements 

The  representatives  in  this  convention  from  the  district  in 
which  Mercer  County  was  included  were  Albert  G.  Pendleton 
of  Giles,  Allen  T.  Caperton  and  Augustus  A.  Chapman  of  Mon- 

The  Constitution  framed  by  this  convention  was  adopted  as 
a  compromise  measure  between  the  east  and  the    west. 

In  1850  Lewis  Xeal  defeated  John  Miller,  of  Sinking  Creek, 
for  the  House  of  Delegates.  In  1851  Captain  George  W. 
Pearls  was  elected  to  the  House  of  Delegates  over  Alexander 
Mahood,  and  in  1852  Reuben  Garretson  defeated  Colonel 
James  M.  Bailey.  Under  the  Constitution  of  1851  Mercer  was 
accorded  a  delegate. 

The  most  remarkable  and  notable  contest  in  the  matter  oi 
an  election,  tliat  ever  occurred  in  Mercer  County,  was  over  thai 
of  a  delegate  to  the  Secession  Convention.  The  contest  was 
between  two  brothers,  William  H.  French  and  Napoleon  B, 
French.  At  the  time  of  this  election  Napoleon  B.  French  was 
serving  as  a  senator  in  the  Legislature  of  Virginia  from  the 
district  of  which  Mercer  County  was  a  part,  and  was  in  Rich' 
mond  at  tlie  time  of  this  election.  These  men  were  and  had  for 
long  years  been  prominent  in  politics,  and  were  the  two  best 
known  men  not  only  in  the  County,  but  in  this  particular  sec- 
tion of  the  state.  Both  brothers  had  been  Whigs  all  of  theii 
lives  and  up  to  a  short  time  prior  to  the  beginning  of  the  Civ- 
il war,  when  William  H.  left  the  Whig  and  united  with  the 
Democratic  party.  This  action  on  his  part  so  incensed  his  old 
political  friends  that  they  determined  to  get  even  with  him 
the  first  opportunity,  and  when  he  announced  himself  a  candi- 
date for  the  convention  and  made  known  his  views,  which  tend- 
ed toward  secession,  his  old  political  friends  who  had  become 
his  enemies,  as  well  as  the  political  friends  of  his  brother,  Na- 
poleon, at  once  named  the  latter  as  the  opposing  candidate- 
There  was  considerable  feeling  in  this  contest  and  some  bit- 
terness. At  this  time  a  large  majority  of  the  people  of  Mer- 
cer County  were  strongly  union  in  sentiment. 

The  great  political  battle  between  these  two  brothers  was 

1837-1861  181 

fought  to  the  finish,  and  resulted  in  the  election  of  Napoleon 
B.  French  by  a  majority  of  more  than  300.  On  the  assem- 
bling of  the  convention  in  February,  1861,  Mr.  French  took  his 
seat  therein  as  the  representative  of  the  people  of  Mercer 

The  next  spirited  contest  was  for  the  Legislature,  a  battle 
royal  which  took  place  between  Captain  Robert  A.  Richardson 
and  Dr.  Robert  B.  McNutt,  in  May,  1861.  Richardson  had  rais- 
ed a  company  of  volunteers  for  the  Civil  War,  of  which  he  had 
been  elected  Captain,  and  consequently  had  gathered  to  himself 
a  very  large  following  and  was  then  on  the  eve  of  starting  ofif 
for  the  war,  and  the  people  of  the  County  were  very  much  ag- 
itated and  excited.  Dr.  Robert  B,  McNutt  had  long  lived  in 
the  County,  was  a  very  eminent  physician,  had  quite  a  strong 
relationship,  and  a  host  of  friends,  personal  and  political.  He 
was  defeated  by  Richardson  by  a  small  majority. 

The  Secession  Convention  which  assembled  in  Richmond 
in  February,1861,  was  composed  of  the  ablest  men  in  the  state ; 
they  were  not  only  able  but  patriotic,  and  weighed  well  and 
carefully  every  step  that  was  taken.  A  great  deal  of  the  time 
of  the  convention  was  taken  up  in  considering  the  report  of 
the  committee  on  Federal  relations.  The  report  of  this  com- 
mittee recommended  certain  amendments  to  the  Constitution 
of  the  United  States  fixing  the  limits  of  the  slave  territory,  and 
the  rights  of  slaveholders  to  take  their  slave  property  into  the 
limits  of  such  territory'.  There  were  a  great  many  substitutes 
offered  for  this  report,  and  it  was  evident  from  the  various 
votes  taken  on  these  substitutes  that  in  the  beginning  the 
larger  number  of  the  members  of  the  convention  were  opposed 
to  separation  from  the  Union,  and  on  the  other  hand  the  ma- 
jority thereof  seems  to  have  been  unwilling  to  see  the  Federal 
Government  coerce  the  states  which  had  seceded.  At  last  and 
when  the  point  was  reached  and  it  became  evident  that  the 
Federal  authorities  were  determined  to  attempt  to  coerce  the 
seceding  states,  it  became  necessary  for  the  convention  to 
take  some  decided  step.    It  went  into  secret  session  on  Tues- 

182  New  River  Settlements 

day,  the  16th  day  of  April,  1801,  and  ou  that  day  Mr.  ^^'illiam 
Ballard  Preston,  of  Moutgoiuery  County,  submitted  an  ordi- 
nance "to  repeal  tlie  ratification  of  the  Constitution  of  the 
United  States  by  the  state  of  Virginia,  and  to  resume  all  the 
rights  and  powers  granted  under  said  Constitution." 

In  the  afternoon  session  of  that  day  Mr.  Robert  Scott,  of 
Fauquier,  offered  a  substitute  for  Mr.  Preston's  ordinance. 
This  substitute  recited  that  there  were  still  eight  slavehold- 
ing  states  within  the  Union,  and  some  members  of  the  conven- 
tion favored  consultation  and  co-operation  with  these  states, 
and  that  it  was  desirable  to  ascertain  the  preferences  of  the 
people  of  the  state  as  to  whether  or  not  they  desired  co-opera- 
tion with  the  eight  slave  states  or  immediate  secession,  and  to 
that  end  a  vote  of  the  people  of  the  state  be  taken  on  the  4th 
Tuesday  in  May  next  thereafter.  When  a  vote  on  this  substi- 
tute was  called  for,  Mr.  Baldwin  of  Augusta  moved  an  adjourn- 
ment, but  the  convention  refused  to  adjourn  by  a  vote  of  sixty- 
five  to  seventy-  eight,  Mr.  French,  the  representative  from  Mer- 
cer, voting  for  adjournmeut.  After  the  transaction  of  some 
other  business  another  motion  was  made  to  adjourn,  which 
was  carried  by  a  vote  of  seventy-six  to  sixty-five,  French  again 
voting  for  adjournment.  On  Wednesday,  the  17th  day  of  April, 
18G1,  the  convention  resumed  consideration  of  the  ordinance 
submitted  by  Mr.  Preston  and  the  substitute  offered  therefor 
by  Mr.  Scott.  The  vote  was  first  taken  on  the  substitute  which 
was  lost  by  sixty-four  to  seventy-nine,  French  voting  for 
tlie  substitute,  and  casting  his  vote  with  John  A.  Campbell,  of 
Washington,  John  J.  Jackson  of  Wood,  John  F.  Lewis  of  Rock- 
ingham, John  S.  Burdett  of  Taylor,  Jubel  A.  Early  of  Frank- 
lin, Samuel  Price  of  Greenbrier,  Henry  L.  Gillaspie,  of  Ra- 
leigh, and  other  members  from  northwestern  Virginia.  The 
Monroe,  Giles  and  Tazewell  delegates  voted  against  the  sub- 
stitute. The  substitute  being  lost,  a  vote  was  then  taken  on 
the  ordinance  proposed  by  Mr.  Preston  which  was  adopted  by 
a  vote  of  eighty-  eight  to  fifty-five.  On  this  final  vote  French 
voted  for  the  ordinance  as  did  almost  all  the  members  from  the 

1837-1861  183 

southwestern  part  of  the  state,  while  the  major  part  of  the 
members  from  the  northwestern  part  of  the  state  voted  against 

It  is  here  noted  in  this  connection  that  the  Congress  of  the 
United  States  agreed  to  and  submitted  an  amendment  to  the 
Constituion,  which  was  approved  March,  1861,  touching  the 
slavery  question  and  known  as  amendment  number  "Thirteen," 
and  which  was  ratified  by  the  Legislature  of  the  restored  Gov- 
ernment of  Virginia  at  Wheeling,  the  13th  day  of  February, 
1862.  The  amendment  is  in  the  following  words:  "No  amend- 
ment shall  be  made  to  the  Constitution  which  will  authorize  or 
give  to  Congress  the  power  to  abolish  or  interfere  in  any  state 
with  the  domestic  institutions  thereof,  including  that  of  per- 
sons held  to  labor  or  service  by  the  laws  of  the  said  state." 

The  convention  of  Virginia  provided  for  the  submission  of 
the  ordinance  of  secession  to  the  people  on  the  23rd  day  of 
May,  1861,  for  ratification  or  rejection.  It  was  ratified  by  a  ma- 
jority of  96,7.50  out  of  a  total  vote  of  161,018  votes.  The  Coun- 
ties of  northwestern  Virginia  in  a  vote  of  44,000  gave  40,000 
majority  against  the  ordinance.  The  vote  in  Mercer  County 
on  the  ordinance  was  practically  unanimous,  only  seven  votes 
being  cast  against  it.  Giles  County  cast  her  1033  votes  solidly 
for  the  ordinance ;  electing  at  the  same  time  Captain  William 
Eggleston  to  the  House  of  Delegates  over  Dr.  John  W.  Easly 
by  234  votes. 

As  has  been'seen  by  reference  to  the  vote  of  the  delegates  in 
the  convention  from  the  Counties  west  of  the  Alleghenies  and 
north  of  the  Kanawha,  as  well  as  the  vote  of  the  people  of 
those  Counties,  that  they  were  intently  and  earnestly  opposed 
to  secession,  while  all  he  Counties  south  of  the  Kanawha,  and 
particularly  those  in  the  New  River  Valley  and  southwest  Vir- 
ginia were  almost  a  unit  for  it.  Toward  the  closing  days  of 
the  secession  convention,  a  party  of  gentlemen  from  several 
Counties  in  the  state — representative  men,  catching  the  spirit 
of  the  people  at  home,  which  seemed  to  be  in  advance  of  tliat 
of  the  convention,  by  self  appointment  met  in  the  city  of  Rich- 

184  New  River  Settlements 

mond  with  the  view  and  purpose  of  influencing  if  possible  the 
action  of  the  convention  in  favor  of  immediate  secession. 
What  bearing  if  any  the  meetings  of  this  self  constituted  body 
of  men  had  on  the  action  of  the  convention  can  only  be  con- 

Such  was  the  intense  feeling  and  excitement  in  Richmond, 
and  in  fact  throughout  the  Commonwealth,  that  the  repreaeu' 
tatives  in  the  convention  from  the  northwestern  and  other 
parts  of  the  state  who  opposed  the  action  of  the  convention 
and  refused  to  vote  for  the  ordinance,  became  alarmed  for 
their  safety,  some  leaving  and  traveling  incognito,  while  others 
thought  it  necessary  to  procure  letters  of  safe  conduct  from 
the  Governor  of  the  Commonwealth  in  order  to  enable  them  to 
reach  their  homes. 

The  news  of  the  passage  of  the  ordinance  of  secession,  spread 
throughout  the  state  like  unto  wild  fire  in  a  dry  stubble  on 
a  windy  day.  The  intelligence  was  greeted  with  shouts  of  ap- 
plause by  the  populace,  bells  were  rung,  cannons  boomed, 
great  gatherings  of  the  people  were  had,  and  oratory  dispensed 
without  stint. 

Virginia  had  stood  for  peace,  placed  herself  in  the  position 
of  mediator  between  the  contending  sections.  Her  appeals 
on  the  one  side  were  unheeded,  and  the  threats  and  demonstra- 
tions on  the  other,  did  not  move  her.  She  did  not  intend  to 
act  in  haste,  and  only  decided  to  leave  the  Union  when  the 
Federal  Executive  called  for  seventy-five  thousand  troops  to 
coerce  the  Seceded  States. 

History  can  scarcely  furnish  a  parallel  of  the  beginning  of  a 
revolution  so  orderly,  peaceful,  and  without  blood  shed  or  ex- 
cesses of  any  kind,  all  accomplished  in  a  quiet.  Constitutional 
form  and  method — Virginia  claiming  nothing  further  than  to 
be  allowed  to  depart  in  peace,  uttering  as  she  withdrew  from 
the  Union  the  hope  and  prayer  that  war  might  be  averted. 
Without  waiting  for  the  result  of  the  vote  on  the  ordinance, 
the  people  went  to  work  with  energy  to  organize  and  equip  the 
whole  military  force  of  the  state  for  defense,  not  for  aggressive 

18G1-1865  185 

war  on  the  Federal  Union,  but  to  prevent  if  possible,  the  Fed- 
eral power  from  crushing  the  state  and  overthrowing  Consti- 
tutional government  therein,  and  to  prevent  further  encroach- 
ments upon  the  rights  of  the  state.  Virginia  had  resumed  her 
original  sovereignty,  and  had  withdrawn  all  the  powers  and 
rights  that  she  had  delegated  to  the  Federal  agent ;  she  had  re- 
voked the  poAver  of  attorney  that  she  had  given  that  Federal 
agent,  and  did  not  propose  to  withdraw  the  revocation,  but  to 
maintain  it  by  force  of  arms  if  necessary;  that  was  all. 

The  position  of  the  south,and  particularly  of  Virginia,  seems 
not  to  have  been  well  understood  by  the  great  bulk  of  the  north- 
ern people,  who  were  led  astray  by  the  cry  for  the  Union,  and 
that  these  people  of  the  south  were  preparing  to  establish  a 
government  baied  upon  slavery  as  its  chief  cornerstone,  when 
in  fact  our  southern  people  were  attempting  to  escape  from  a 
government  and  power  which  sought  to  destroy  their  Consti- 
tional  rights.  It  was  not  the  establishment  of  a  southern  Con- 
federacy that  our  people  sought  and  fought  for,  but  it  was  to 
uphold  and  maintain  the  integrity  and  sovereignty  of  the  state, 
and  with  no  view  of  making  war  on  the  other  States  of  the 
Union  or  on  the  Federal  Government. 




The  organization  of  Military  Companies — The  concentration 
of  Armies — The  War  Begins — Great  Union  Uprising  in 
Northwestern  Virginia — Restored  Government  of  Virginia 
— Formation  of  West  Virginia — Various  battles  and  en- 
gagements—Campaigns of  1861,  1862,  1863,  1864,  1865— 
The  war  ends — Peace  restored — Reconstruction  in  Mercer 

At  the  period  of  the  organization  of  military  companies  re- 
ferred to  above,  the  whole  state  of  Virginia,  in  a  measure,  pre- 

186  New  River  Settlements 

sented  a  fair  picture  of  a  grand  niilitarv  camp  and  tlie  people, 
except  those  in  the  northwestern  part  of  the  state  were  aglow 
with  enthusiasm  for  the  defense  of  Virginia.  Enlistments 
were  rapidly  going  on  in  all  theCounties,  cities,  towns  and  vil- 
lages within  the  Commonwealth,  and  the  people  of  the  New 
River  Valley  Counties  were  abreast  with  their  sister  Counties 
in  this  great  movement. 

The  change  in  ])ublic  sentiment  wrought  in  the  minds  of  the 
people  in  a  few  short  weeks  was  most  remarkable.  In  the 
County  of  Giles  Mr.  Manilius  Chapman,  known  to  lean  strong- 
ly towards  separation  from  the  Federal  Union,  was  in  Febru- 
ary elected  to  the  convention  by  a  majority  of  only  about  twen- 
ty votes  over  Mr.  Charles  D.  Peck,  an  open  and  avowed  Union- 
ist, and  who  declared  ^tliat  "he  would  give  up  his  slaves  rather 
than  dissolve  the  Union."  A  little  more  than  three  short  months, 
the  solid  vote  of  Giles  County  was  cast  for  the  ratification  of 
the  ordinance  of  Secession.  The  same  is  true  of  the  people  of 
Mercer  county,  where  the  Union  candidate  was  elected  by  a 
vote  of  over  two  to  one ;  yet  in  the  same  length  of  time  the  sen- 
timent of  the  people  had  been  so  revolutionized,  that,  save  and 
except  seven  votes,  the  County  went  solidly  for  secession ;  this, 
too,  in  County  whose  population  was  composed  almost  wholly 
of  white  people,  there  being  but  few  slaves  in  the  county. 

The  folHo wing  companies  were 'organized  and  sent  to  the  war 
by  the  County  of  Giles,  viz:  Captain  James  H.  French's  com- 
pany of  infantry  attached  to  the  7th  Virginia  regiment;  Cap- 
tain W.  W .  McComas'  company  of  artillery  attached  to 
Sarke's  battalion;  Captain  Andrew  Gott's  company  (1)  at- 
tached to  the  SOth  Virginia  regiment  of  infantry ;  Captain  Por- 
terfield's  company  attached  to  the  ^Gth  regiment  of  Virginia 
infantry;  Captain  William  Eggleston's  company  attached  to 
the  24th  Virginia  regiment  of  infantry;  Captain  William  H. 
Payne's  company  attached  to  the  27th  Virginia  battalion  of 
cavalry.     To  these  should  be  added  numbers  of  Giles  County 

Note  1.  The  officers  of  Captain  Andrew  Gott's  company  I,  36  Va. 
Infty.,  were,  Capt.  Andrew  Gott,  Lieuts.  James  K.  Shannon,  Leander 
Johnston  and  Jno.  M.  Henderson. 

1861-1865  187 

men  who  attached  themselves  to  companies  from  other  coun- 
ties, and  also  the  Reserve  forces  composed  of  those  between  the 
ages  of  sixteen  and  eighteen  years  and  forty-five  and  fifty 
years.   (2) 

Mercer  County  organized  and  sent  to  the  field  ten  companies 
as  follows,  viz:  (3).  Captain  Robert  A.  Richardson's  company 
attached  to  the  24th  regiment  of  Virginia  infantry;  Captain 
William  B.  Dorman's  company  attached  to  a  regiment  of  the 
Wise  Legion;  Captain  John  A.  Pack's  company  and  Captain 
W.  (j.  Ryan's  company,  both  of  which  were  attached  to  the  60th 
regiment  of  Virginia ;  Captain  Richard  B.  Foley's  Independent 
comj)any  of  infantry;  Captain  John  R.  Dunlap's  company  at- 
tached to  the  23rd  Virginia  battalion  of  infantry;  Captain 
Vvllliam  H.  French's  company  attached  to  the  17th  Virginia 
regiment  of  cavalry ;  Captain  Napoleon  B.  French's  company 
of  artilery,  unattached,  and  captured  at  Fort  Donnelson,  and 
afterwards  divided,  part  going  to  the  17th  regiment  of  Vir- 
ginia cavalry  and  the  remainder  thereof  to  Clark's  30th  batta- 
lion of  Virginia  infantry;  the  companies  of  Captain  Jacob  C, 
Straley  and  Captain  Robert  Gore  attached  to  the  17th  regiment 
of  Virginia  cavalry.  The  company  of  Captain  William  B.  Dor- 
man  was  captured  in  the  battle  of  Roanoke  Island,  in  1862,  and 
on  the  return  of  the  members  of  said  company  they  separated, 
some  going  to  Captain  Jacob  C.  Straley's  company  and  some 
to  a  company  commanded  by  Captain  Thomas  Thompson,  who 
was  succeeded  by  Captain  James  H.  Peck,  and  this  company 
was  attached  to  the  26th  Virginia  battalion  of  infantry  com- 
manded by  Colonel  George  M.  Edgar. 

It  is  not  intended  here,  in  fact  it  is  not  at  all  possible,  as  the 
information  is  not  at  hand,  to  present  a  list  of  the  names  of 
the  men  who  composed  these  various  companies,  but  the  rolls 
of  some  of  the  companies  from  the  Counties  of  Giles  and  Mer- 

(2).     A  company  of  Reserves  commanded  by  Capt.  Wm.  H.  Dulaney. 

(3).  In  addition  to  these  ten  companies,  Mercer  County  also  sent 
Capt.  Alex.  Pine's  company  of  Reserves,  attached  to  the  4th  Va.  Bat- 
talion.    See   Appendix   G. 

188  New  River  Settlements 

cer,  as  far  as  they  have  been  obtained,  together  with  the  names 
of  the  various  company,  officers  will  be  found  in  the  appendix 
to  this  volume. 

As  has  already  been  stated,  when  our  people  entered  upon 
the  war  it  was  with  brave  determination  and  vigor — not  count- 
ing the  cost.  It  was  to  them  simply  the  question  of  defending 
Virginia,  and  Virginia's  soil  from  the  threatened  invasion  of 
a  Northern  army;  and  to  preserve  our  rights  and  liberties  as 
free  people,  and  for  which  our  ancestors  had  shed  their  blood 
in  our  contest  with  Great  Britain.  It  was  not  a  war  on  the 
part  of  our  people  to  preserve  or  perpetuate  slavery,  for  thou- 
sands of  our  best  and  bravest  soldiers,  nor  their  ancestors  had 
ever  owned  a  slave.  We  were  forced  to  the  choice  of  which 
master  we  should  serve — we  could  not  serve  both.  We  regarded 
our  primary  allegiance  due  to  tlie  state  which,  with  the  other 
states,  had  given  life  and  existence  to  the  Federal  agent  that 
now  proposed  to  turn  upon,  crush  and  destroy  its  creators. 
These  were  the  arguments  and  presentations  of  the  question  at 
that  time.  For  these  contentions  our  people  stood  ready  to 
surrender  their  lives,  their  all,  save  honor,  and  fought  to  the 
finish,  only  yielding  to  overpowering  and  overwhelming  force, 
but  not  surrendering  an  iota  of  the  principles  for  which  they 
so  long,  so  faithfully  and  bravely  battled.  These  principles 
are  just  as  sacred  today  as  they  ever  were,  they  were  not  lost 
by  the  results  of  the  war,  only  the  effort  to  maintain  and  estab- 
lish them  by  the  arbitrament  of  tlie  sword  was  a  failure. 

In  the  months  of  May,  June  and  the  early  days  of  July,  18G1, 
the  Federal  Government  had  gathered  two  great  armies  in  the 
East  under  the  command  of  General  Winfield  Scott;  one  at 
Washington  and  in  tliat  vicinity,  which  during  the  months  re- 
ferred to  had  crossed  the  Potomac  into  Virginia,  the  other 
along  the  upper  Potomac  in  the  vicinity  of  Martinsburg  and 
Harper's  Ferry.  The  first  named  army  under  General  McDow- 
ell as  field  commander,  the  second  under  General  Patterson  as 
commander  in  the  field. 

The  Confederate  Government  to  oppose  these  hostile  and  in- 

1861-1865  189 

vading  armies,  had  gathered  and  mobilized  an  army  at  and 
around  Manassas  Junction  under  General  G.  T.  Beauregard; 
another  to  oppose  General  Patterson  on  the  upper  Potomac 
and  in  the  Valley  under  General  Joseph  E.  Johnston. 

During  the  month  of  May  many  of  the  companies  from  the 
New  River  Valley  Counties  marched  away  to  their  respective 
places  of  rendezvous,  among  them  the  companies  of  Captain 
James  H.  French,  of  Giles,  and  Captain  Richardson,  of  Mercer, 
which  left  their  respective  Counties  about  the  last  days  of  May, 
1861,  and  hastened  to  Lynchburg,  Virginia,  their  appointed 
place  of  rendezvous,  and  on  the  first  day  of  June  thereafter 
joined  General  Beauregard's  army,  then  being  concentrated  at 
and  around  Manassas  Junction  on  the  Orange  and  Alexandria 
Railroad  and  about  twenty-five  miles  from  the  city  of  Wash- 
ington, The  companies  of  French  (1)  and  Richardson  were 
assigned  to  the  24:th  regiment  of  Virginia  infantry  then  com- 
manded by  Colonel  Jubal  A.  Early.  The  company  of  Captain 
McComas  was  assigned  to  duty  with  the  Wise  Legion,  and  did 
its  first  service  in  the  Greenbrier-Sewell  Mountain  countr^^,  and 
was  then  transferred  to  the  eastern  department  with  tlie  Legion 
to  which  it  belonged.  The  other  companies  as  organized,  those 
from  Giles  as  well  as  those  from  Mercer,  went  forward  to  their 
respective  places  of  assignment.  It  is  estimated  that  the  Coun- 
ty of  Giles  sent  into  the  Confederate  service  about  eight  hun- 
dred men,  of  whom  nearly  forty  per  cent,  were  lost,  and  that 
about  fifteen  hundred  men  went  from  the  County  of  Mercer,  of 
whom  it  is  estimated  that  fully  forty  per  cent  were  lost.  These 
tv\^o  Counties  had  their  representatives  on  every  important 
battlefield  in  the  state  of  Virginia,  West  Virginia,  Maryland, 
Pennsylvania,  and  on  some  of  the  fields  in  Tennessee,  Ken- 
tucky and  North  Carolina. 

General  Beauregard's  outposts  were  at  Fairfax  Court  House^ 
and  on  the  morning  of  June  1st,  1861,  a  Federal  scouting  par- 
ty entered  the  town  and  a  skirmish  with  the  Confederates  un- 
ci)    French's  company  was  subsequently  and  prior  to  the  first  battle 
of  Manassas,  transferred  to  the  7th  Virginia  Regiment. 

190  New  River  Settlements 

der  Major  Ewell  took  place,  iu  wliieli  Captain  John  Q.  Marr, 
of  Fauquier  County,  was  killed. 

During  the  month  of  June  and  the  early  days  of  July,  Gen- 
eral Beauregard  was  actively  engaged  in  the  organization  of 
his  troops  and  in  preparing  them  for  field  service.  The  regi- 
regiment  and  place  dunder  the  command  of  Colonel  Jubal  A. 
24th  Virginia  regiments  were  brigaded  with  the  7th  Louisiana 
regiment  and  jjlaced  under  the  command  of  Colonel  Jubal  A. 

Rumors  were  afloat  in  the  camps  for  several  days  previous 
to  the  Federal  advance  that  we  would  soon  be  attacked  by  Gen- 
eral McDowell's  army. 

Soldiers,  even  at  that  earh^  stage  of  the  war,  seemed  to  have 
the  peculiar  faculty  of  finding  out  things  that  it  was  difficult 
to  conceive  how  or  where  they  got  their  information, — proba- 
bly a  kind  of  intuition. 

In  the  early  days  of  July  our  pickets  on  the  outposts  were 
required  to  be  more  vigilant,  and  orders  were  issued  requiring 
the  men  not  on  picket  to  keep  strictly  within  the  camp.  One 
night  during  this  time  a  picket  fired  his  gun  at  some  object, 
real  or  imaginary;  nevertheless  the  long  roll  sounded  to  arms. 
We  had  the  guns  but  no  ammunition,  and  such  confusion  was 
scarcely  ever  seen,  but  we  survived  it — got  straightened  out, 
and  became  much  more  calm  when  we  found  no  enemy  was  ap- 

Orders  came  to  prepare  three  days  rations  and  to  be  prepar- 
ed to  march  at  a  moment's  notice.  Everything  transportable 
was  packed  and  in  readiness,  the  soldier's  knapsack  was  full 
and  heavy,  and  this  together  with  his  musket  and  forty  rounds 
of  cartridges,  made  a  burden  too  heavy  to  be  borne  on  a  July 
day  and  we  learned  better  later  on,  soon  finding  out  how  to  re- 
duce our  baggage  to  the  minimum.  The  order  to  march  came 
on  the  17th  day  of  July  and  we  left  our  camp  and  proceeded  to 
the  high  ground  overlooking  the  valley  of  Bull  Run,  and  Mitch- 
ell's, Blackburn's,  and  McLean's  fords,  where  we  remained  that 
night  and  until  about  noon  on  the  18th,  when  we  discovered  a 

1861-1865  191 

cloud  of  dust  rising  beyond  the  stream,  which  indicated  the  ad- 
vance of  a  body  of  men,  which  proved  to  be  the  vanguard  of 
the  Federal  army,  which  threw  itself  against  General  Long- 
street's  brigade  and  was  repulsed;  but  soon  renewed  the  at- 
tack, when  the  seventh  Virginia  regiment  was  led  into  the  ac- 
tion by  Colonel  Early,  and  this  attack  was  repulsed.  After  a 
sharp  cannonade  of  two  hours  or  more,  the  enemy  retired  and 
some  of  our  men  crossed  the  stream,  picked  up  hats,  guns, 
blankets,  and  the  enemy's  wounded.  The  loss  in  the  7th  regi- 
ment was  small,  a  few  slightly  wounded,  among  them  Isaac 
Hare  and  James  H.  Gardner,  of  the  Giles  company,  struck 
with  spent  balls.  Lieutenant  Colonel  Lewis  B.  Williams  was 
in  command  of  the  regiment,  Colonel  Kemper  being  absent  on 
detached  service,  but  he  joined  us  the  next  day  We  occu- 
pied the  field  that  night,  next  day  and  until  Saturday,  when 
we  were  relieved  and  allowed  to  retire  a  short  distance  into  a 
pine  thicket  to  rest  and  recuperate.  The  enemy  having  suffi- 
ciently felt  of  our  position  and  of  us  to  satisfy  him  that  we 
were  there  and  meant  to  stay  as  long  as  necessary,  retired  out 
of  the  range  of  our  guns,  and  began  the  flank  movement  which 
culminated  in  the  battle  of  Sunday  afterwards. 

On  Sunday  morning,  the  21st,  we  were  lined  up  along  the 
belt  of  pines  and  timber  which  fringed  the  southern  bank  of 
the  stream,  where  we  were  subjected  to  a  severe  shelling  from 
the  enemy's  guns  posted  on  the  heights  beyond.  On  the  day 
preceding,  the  companies  of  Richardson,  of  Mercer,  and  Ly- 
brook,  of  Patrick,  were  sent  to  Bacon  Race  Church  to  guard 
the  road  leading  to  our  position  from  that  direction,  and  these 
companies  remained  in  their  i^osition  throughout  Sunday  and 
did  not  participate  in  the  battle. 

About  11  o'clock  A.  M.  of  Sunday,  July  21st,  Colonel  Early 
led  his  brigade  of  three  regiments,  less  the  two  companies 
above  referred  to,  across  Bull  Run  at  McLean's  Ford  and  on 
to  the  hills  beyond,  forming  in  line  of  battle  and  prepared  to 
advance,  when  he  was  recalled  to  take  position  in  the  rear  of 
the  troops  at  Mitchell's  and  Blackburn's  ford. 

192  New  River  Settlements 

About  high  noon  could  be  heard  distinctly  the  roar  of  battle 
far  to  the  left  and  to  the  west.  It  was  fully  eight  miles  away, 
and  Colonel  Early  receiving  an  order  to  march  to  the  field  of 
contention,  moved  off  rapidly,  the  13th  Mississippi,  Colonel 
Barksdale,  having  been  substituted  for  the  24th  Virginia  regi- 
ment, which  had  been  placed  in  position  at  one  of  the  fords. 
The  movement  of  Early's  brigade  for  the  grater  part  of  the  dis- 
tance was  at  double  quick  through  a  broiling  hot  sun  and 
many  of  the  men  were  almost  completely  exhausted  and  fam- 
ished for  water.  The  brigade  reached  the  field  of  action  about 
three  o'clock  and  twenty  minutes,  P.  M.,  the  time  consumed  in 
the  movement  being  about  two  hours  and  twenty  minutes.  In 
this  rapid  movement  no  roads  were  looked  for  or  traveled,  but 
the  command  was  governed  alone  by  the  sound  of  the  firing. 
On  the  arrival  of  this  brigade  the  situation  was  anything  but 
promising  to  the  Confederates;  the  Federals  were  making  an- 
other, and  it  was  the  last,  swing  around  the  Confederate  left. 
The  brigade  of  General  E.  Kirby  Smith,  which  had  just  pre- 
ceded that  of  Early  on  the  field,  had  passed  through  a  strip  of 
woods,  behind  which  Early's  command  marched  to  the  left, 
and  into  an  open  field  beyond,  and  near  to  the  Chinn  house, 
which  was  almost  immediately  on  the  left  of  the  brigade. 
Here  the  deployment  of  the  brigade  began  to  meet  the  oncom- 
ing foe.  The  7th  Virginia  regiment  being  in  the  advance  made 
its  deployment  quickly,  but  not  without  serious  loss  from  the 
enemy's  fire,  from  which  the  regiment  suffered  in  killed  and 
wounded  within  a  few  minutes  forty-seven  men,  of  whom  nine 
were  killed  and  thirty-eight  wounded.  Colonel  Early  advanc- 
ed his  regiments  promptly  against  the  enemy,  who  soon  left 
the  field  in  a  panic,  and  were  pursued  as  rapidly  and  as  far  as 
the  broken  down  condition  of  the  men  would  permit.  The  Fed- 
erals continued  their  retreat  to  the  Potomac,  and  even  beyond, 
some  of  them  not  stopping  short  of  their  homes;  and  thus  the 
first  "On  to  Richmond"  was  a  disastrous  failure. 

General  Johnston  had  eluded  Patterson  in  the  Valley,  and 
with  the  greater  part  of  his  forces  had  united  with  General 

18G1-1865  193 

teauregard's  army  in  time  to  win  the  great  victory  at  Ma- 

The  loss  in  company  D,  the  Giles  company,  of  the  7th  regi- 
lent  was  as  follows,  viz:  Killed,  Joseph  E.  Bane,  Wounded, 
Robert  H.  Bane,  A.  L.  Fry,  Manilius  S.  Johnston,  Charles  N. 
.  Lee,  Henry  Lewy,  John  P.  Sublet,  and  Samuel  B.  Shannon. 

In  a  few  days  after  this  battle,  the  army  moved  forward  to 
'airfax  Court  House,  picketing  along  the  Alexandria  Leesburg 
nd  other  roads  leading  in  the  direction  of  Alexandria  and 
Washington.  Late  in  the  fall  the  main  body  fell  back  to  Cen- 
?rville  and  Bull  Run,  where  it  passed  the  winter.  The  7th 
irginia  regiment  was  separated  from  the  24th  Virginia  and 
th  Louisiana,  and  added  to  another  brigade  which  for  a  while 
^as  commanded  by  Brigadier  General  Ewell,  later  by  Briga- 
ier  General  Longstreet.  In  March,  1862,  a  brigade  was  formed 
f  the  first,  7th,  11th  and  17th  Virginia  regiments,  and  placed 
nder  the  command    of    Brigadier  General    Ambrose  Powell 


General  Henry  A.  Wise,  in  the  early  summer  of  1861,  had  en- 
ered  the  Valley  of  the  Kanawha  with  a  considerable  number 
f  Confederate  troops,  among  them  a  considerable  number  of 
^ew  River  Valley  men,  and  on  the  7th  day  of  July,  1861,  had 
,  successful  fight  at  Scary  Creek  with  the  advanced  troops  of 
he  Federal  General  Cox.  Subsequently,  in  fact  in  a  few  days, 
leneral  Wise  being  threatened  by  a  force  of  Federal  troops 
rom  the  upper  Gauley  section  under  the  command  of  General 
losecrans,  was  forced  to  retire  towards  Lewisburg.  About 
he  middle  of  August,  1861,  General  John  B.  Floyd  with  a  bri- 
gade arrived  in  the  vicinity  of  Lewisburg,  and  he  assumed  com- 
uand  of  all  the  Confederate  troops  operating  in  that  section, 
md  about  the  movements  of  which  more  will  be  stated  herein- 

In  all  revolutions  excesses  are  committed,  and  the  same  was 
irue  of  our  revolution  in  1861.  After  the  retreat  of  General 
Wise's  forces  from  the  Kanawha,  a  plain  unlettered  farmer  of 
Mercer  County,  by  the  name  of  Parkinson  F.  Pennington,  who 

194  New  River  Settlements 

resided  on  the  waters  of  Laurel  Creek,  in  August  of  the  year 
mentioned,  took  his  team  and  wagon  loaded  with  produce,  and 
went  to  the  Valley  of  the  Kanawha,  and  purchased  goods,  salt, 
etc.,  returning  to  his  home,  and  known  to  be  a  strong  Union 
man  in  sentiment,  and  freely  expressing  his  views,  made  him- 
self quite  obnoxious  to  some  of  his  southern  neighbors,  and  was 
arrested  without  warrant  and  charged  with  being  a  spy.  The 
party  arresting  Pennington  was  headed  by  Captain  James 
Thompson  a  strong  resolute,  bold  southern  man  of  quick  tem- 
per, and  when  aroused  became  wholly  unmanageable.  Pen- 
nington's captors  started  with  him  to  the  Court  House,  and 
he  on  the  way  becoming  very  boisterous  and  insulting  incensed 
the  party  that  had  him  in  charge,  and  they  halted  and  put 
him  to  death  by  the  road  side,  by  hanging  him  by  the  neck, 
with  a  hickory  withe,  to  a  dog-wood  tree  that  stood  nearby. 
This  was  a  very  unfortunate  affair  for  all  the  parties  concern- 
ed, and  the  first  act  of  the  kind  that  had  ever  taken  place  in  the 
County,  and  greatly  shocked  the  community.  Great  regret  was 
expressed  by  the  people,  as  the  act  portended  no  good  to  the 
parties  engaged  nor  to  the  southern  cause.  The  civil  authori- 
ties were  powerless  to  punish  the  perpetrators,  and  the  mili- 
tary would  not.  After  the  close  of  the  war,  the  most  of  those 
engaged  in  hanging  Pennington,  except  Captain  Thompson,had 
either  been  lost  in  the  war  or  left  the  country.  Pennington's 
fatlier,  with  a  body  of  eighteen  United  States  soldiers  went  to 
the  house  of  Captain  Thompson  intending  to  arrest  him,  but 
Captain  Thompson  discovering  their  approach  attempted  to 
escape,  but  was  shot  by  one  of  the  party  and  killed. 

Notwithstanding  the  apparent  unanimity  of  sentiment 
among  the  people  of  Mercer  County  in  favor  of  Southern  rights 
and  armed  resistence  to  Federal  attempt  at  coercion,  there 
were  quite  a  number  of  good  men  in  the  County  opposed  to  the 
war,  and  who  remained  steadfast  in  their  convictions  for  the 
Union  throughout  the  conflict;  amdng  them,  Colone/1  Thomas 
Little,  George  Evans,  Andrew  J.  Thompson,  John  A.  McKensey 
James  Sarver,  David  Lilley,   Sylvester  Upton,  Augustus  W. 

1861-1865  195 

Cole,  Augustus  W.  J.  Caperton,  James  Bowling,  William 
C.  Honaker,  W.  J.  Comer,  Russell  G.  French,  and  many 
others.  Some  of  these  men,  believing  it  unsafe  to 
remain  in  the  country,  went  within  the  lines  of  the  Federal 
army,  and  there  remained  during  the  entire  period  of  the  war, 
others  remained  quietly  at  their  homes,  taking  no  part  in  the 
contest.  There  were  a  few,  glad  to  say  few,  who  enlisted  in  the 
Confederate  army  and  then  deserted  to  the  enemy,  and  some  of 
these  became  a  set  of  outlaws,  thieves  and  robbers,  who  respect- 
ed neither  friend  nor  foe,  and  made  incursions  into  the  coun- 
try, plundering  indiscriminately. 

The  commands  of  Generals  Wise  and  Floyd,  being  sorely 
pressed  by  the  enemy,  the  militia  brigades  of  General  Alfred 
Beckley  and  Augustus  A.  Chapman  were  called  into  service  in 
August,  1861,  and  sent  to  Cotton  Hill,  in  Fayette  County.  A 
call  had  been  made  in  the  early  part  of  the  summer  of  1861  for 
the  services  of  the  militia  of  the  County  of  Mercer,  and  Colon- 
b1  Thomas  Little,  the  then  commandant  thereof,  declined,  in 
fact  refused  to  obey  the  call,  and  in  a  public  meeting  of  the  citi- 
zens held  at  Princeton  he  was  fearfully  denounced,  and  threat- 
ened with  personal  violence,  so  much  so  that  he  thought  it 
prudent  to  immeliiately  retire  within  the  Federal  lines.  Th& 
Mercer  and  Giles  regiments  of  militia,  belonged  to  Chapman's 
brigade.  The  Giles  regiment  was  commanded  by  Colonel 
James  W.  English  with  Samuel  E.  Lybrook  and  J.  C.  Snidow 
as  Majors.  The  Mercer  regiment  was  commanded  by  Lieuten- 
ant Colonel  John  S.  Carr,  with  Harman  White  and  W.  R.  Bail- 
ey as  Majors.  H.  W.  Straley  was  the  brigade  Commissary. 
The  militia  brigades  were  disbanded  in  the  fall  of  1861,  and 
later  in  the  same  fall  the  troops  of  Wise  and  Floyd  were  with- 
drawn from  the  Gauley  and  New  River  section ;  Wise  going  to 
the  eastern  coast  of  Virginia  and  North  Carolina,  and  Floyd 
with  his  command,  in  which  was  the  36th  Virginia  regiment 
of  infantry,  composed  in  part  of  New  River  men,  to  Fort  Don- 
elvson,  Tennessee. 

During  the  winter   and  spring   of  1861-2,    the  8th   Virginia 

196  Neav  River  Settlements 

regiment  of  cavalry  under  the  command  of  Colonel  Jenifer 
occupied  the  territory  of  Mercer  County,  as  a  corps  of  obser 
vation,  with  headquarters  at  Princeton. 

Before  proceeding  further  with  this  narrative,  it  becomes  im 
portant  and  interesting  to  relate  what  is  transpiring  during 
this  period  among  the  people  of  the  northwestern  Counties  oi 
Virginia,  who  were  so  violently  opposed  to  Secession.  It  is  no1 
proposed  to  discuss  the  military  side  of  this  rather  novel  situa 
tion,  but  the  civil.    It  is  well   known  and  need  not  here  be  re 
lated,  that  Federal  troops  had  largely  occupied  all  of  the  ter 
ritory  of  the  northwestern  counties  north  of  the  Kanawha,  and 
mostly  that  west  of  the  Alleghanies,  in  what  is  now  the  state 
of  West  Virginia.     As  already   stated,    that  in  the    Secession 
Convention,  which  assembled  at  Richmond  in  February,  1861, 
a  majority  of  the  members  from  the  northwestern  Counties  oi 
Virginia  were  earnestly,    conscientiously    and    violently    op 
posed  to    Secession  and   a  number  of  them  voted   against  the 
ordinance.    These  men  returned  to  their  respective  constituen 
ces,  and  public  meetings  were  held  in  many  of  the  northwestern 
Counties  for  the  purpose  of  determining  what  action  should  be 
taken  by  the  people  of  these  Counties.    A  large  meeting  of  the 
people  was  held  at  Clarksburg  on  the  22ud  of  April,  1861,  un- 
der the  auspices  of  the  Honorable  John  S.  Carlisle,  the  late  del- 
egate  from    that  County  to  the  convention.      About  twelve  hun- 
dred people  attended  the  meeting,  and  after  reciting  in  a  long 
preamble  the  means  which  had  been  resorted  to  by  the  Seces- 
sionists to  transfer  the  state  from  its  allegiance  to  the  Federal 
Government  to  the  Confederate  states  without  the  consent  of 
the  people,  and  reciting  many  other  grievances,  recommended 
to  the  people  of  all  the  counties  composing  northwestern  Vir- 
ginia, to  appoint  not  less  than  five  delegates  from  each  County 
to  a  convention  to  be  held  at  Wheeling  on  the  13th  day  of  May 
following,  to  consult  and  determine  upon  the  course  of  action 
to  be  taken  by  the  people  of  northwestern  Virginia  in  the  then 
fearful  emergency.     Delegates  were  accordingly  selected  from 
twenty-six  counties,  viz:    Hancock,  Brooke,  Ohio,  Marion,  Mo- 

1881-1885  197 

nongalia,  Preston,  Wood,  Lewis,  Ritchie,  Harrison,  Upshur, 
Gilmer,  Wirt,  Jackson,  Mason,  Wetzel,  Pleasants,  Barbour, 
Hampshire,  Berkeley,  Doddridge,  Tyler,  Taylor,  Roane,  Freder- 
ick, and  Marshall. 

The  convention  met  on  the  13th  day  of  May,  and  was  organ- 
ized by  the  election  of  John  W.  Moss  as  permanent  president. 
A.fter  a  long  and  somewhat  stormy  session,  this  convention 
anded  its  work  by  recommending  that  in  the  event  the  ordi- 
Qance  of  secession  should  be  ratified  by  the  people,  the  Coun- 
ties there  represented,  and  all  others  disposed  to  co-operate, 
ippoint  on  the  4th  of  June,  1861,  delegates  to  a  general  conven- 
tion to  meet  on  the  11th  day  of  the  same  month  at  such  place 
as  should  be  designated  by  a  committee  to  be  afterwards  ap- 
pointed by  the  convention. 

The  convention  was  composed  of  about  five  hundred  in  num- 
ber, and  from  its  close  to  the  election  which  took  place  on  the 
23rd  of  the  same  month,  the  country  was  in  a  feverish  state  of 
excitement.  On  election  day  the  people  voted  for  the  members 
)f  the  House  of  Representatives  to  the  Federal  Congress  from 
the  three  districts  west  of  the  Alleghanies,  In  twenty-five 
bounties,  embracing  a  part  of  what  is  now  West  Virginia,there 
tvas  a  majority  of  over  twenty-four  thousand  votes  against  the 
ordinance  of  Secession.  There  was  great  interest  manifested  in 
the  coming  election  for  delegates  to  the  convention  to  be  held 
3n  the  11th  day  of  June.  The  County  committees  ai)pointed 
persons  to  hold  the  election  at  the  various  precincts  on  the  4th 
3f  June.  There  was  a  very  full  vote  polled,  and  delegates  from 
twenty-one  counties  were  reported  elected,  which  number  was 
subsequently  augmented  to  thirty-five.  The  delegates  met  in 
Washington  Hall,  in  the  city  of  Wheeling,  on  the  11th  day  of 
June,  1861,  and  elected  Arthur  I.  Boreman,  of  Wood  County, 
President  of  the  convention.  On  the  19th  day  of  June  the  con- 
vention passed  an  ordinance  for  the  reorganization  of  the  state 
Government  of  Virginia ;  and  on  the  following  day  elected  the 
following  officers :  Francis  H.  Pierpont,  of  Marion,  Governor, 
Daniel  Polsley,  of  Mason,  Lieutenant  Governor,  and  James  S. 

198  New  River  Settlements 

Wheat  of  Ohio,  Attorney  General.  The  General  Assembly  met 
in  pursuance  of  the  ordinance  of  the  convention  at  Wheeling  on 
the  1st  day  of  July.  The  session  was  held  at  the  custom  house, 
where  the  Governor  had  already  established  his  office,  Dnd 
where  the  other  officers  of  the  Government  were  subsequently 
located.  On  the  9th  of  July  the  House  on  a  joint  vote  elect- 
ed L.  A.  Hagans,  of  Preston,  Secretary  of  the  Commonwealth, 
Samuel  Crane,  of  Randolph,  Auditor  of  Public  Accounts,  and 
Campbell  Tarr,  of  Brooke,  Treasurer.  On  the  same  day  John 
S.  Carlisle  and  Waitman  T.  Willey  were  elected  Senators  to 
the  Federal  Congress.  The  convention  was  reinforced  by  the 
appearance  of  several  members  from  the  Kanawha  Valley, 
which  for  some  time  previous  thereto  had  been  occupied  by  the 
Confederate  Military  forces.  On  the  20th  of  August  the  con- 
vention passed  an  ordinance  providing  for  the  formation  of  a 
new  state  out  of  a  portion  of  the  territory  of  the  state  of  Vir- 
ginia, which  included  the  Counties  of  Logan, Wyoming,Raleigh, 
Fayette,  Nicholas,  Webster,  Randolph,  Tucker,  Preston,  Mo- 
nongalia, Marion,  Taylor,  Barbour,  Upshur,  Harrison,  Lewia, 
Braxton,  Clay,  Kanawha,  Boone,  Wayne,  Cabell,  Putnam,  Ma- 
son, Jackson,  Roane,  Calhoun,  Wirt,  Gilmer,  Ritchie,  Wood, 
Pleasants,  Tyler,  Doddridge,  Wetzel,  Marshall,  Ohio,  Brooke, 
and  Hancock;  thirty-nine  in  all,  and  the  convention  was  em- 
powered to  change  the  boundaries  so  as  to  include  the  Counties 
of  Greenbrier,  Pocahontas,  Hampshire,  Hardy,  Morgan,  Jef- 
ferson, and  Berkeley,  or  either  of  them,  and  also  all  the  Coun- 
ties contiguous  to  the  boundaries  of  the  proposed  state,  or  to 
the  Counties  just  named,  were  to  be  added  if  the  people  there- 
of by  majority  of  the  votes  given  should  express  a  desire  to  be 
included  on  the  same  day  that  the  election  was  held  in  the  oth- 
er Counties,  and  should  elect  delegates  to  the  convention. 

Kanawha  was  proposed  as  the  name  for  the  new  state,  and 
the  election  was  to  be  held  on  the  fourth  Thursday  of  October 
succeeding.  Delegates  to  the  convention  were  sent  from  all  the 
foregoing  enumerated  Counties,  except  Webster  and   Berkeley 

The  convention  met  on  the  26th  day  of  November.  1801,  com- 

1861-1865  199 

pleted  its  labors,  and  adjourned  on  the  18th  day  of  February, 
1862,  providing  for  the  submission  of  its  work  to  the  people 
on  the  3rd  day  of  April,  1862,  and  was  accordingly  voted  upon 
on  that  day  and  adopted  by  a  vote  of  18,862  in  its  favor  to  514 
against  it. 

The  Legislature  of  the  reorganized  Government  assembled 
on  the  6th  day  of  May  following,  and  gave  its  formal  assent  by 
the  passage  of  a  bill  on  the  13th  of  the  same  month,  for  the 
formation  and  erection  of  the  state  of  West  Virginia,  within 
the  jurisdiction  of  the  state  of  Virginia. 

As  has  already  been  shown  it  was  at  first  proposed  to  call  the 
new  state  Kanawha,  but  the  convention  finally  gave  it  the  name 
of  West  Virginia. 

In  the  convention  which  framed  this  first  constitution  for 
the  state  of  West  Virginia,  Captain  Richard  M.  Cooke,  of  the 
County  of  Wyoming,  was  admitted  as  a  delegate  from  Mercer 
County,  by  authority,  as  he  claims,  of  a  petition  of  a  few  peo- 
ple in  the  western  portion  of  said  County  of  Mercer.  It  is  un- 
certain, under  this  first  Constitution,  how  Mercer  County  be- 
came a  constituent  part  of  the  state  of  West  Virginia.  Re- 
search does  not  disclose  that  any  vote  was  taken  whereby  the 
people  of  the  County  elected,  authorized  or  commissioned  any 
person  to  represent  them  in  the  said  convention.  And  it  is 
further  certain  that  no  election  was  held  in  the  County  of  Mer- 
cer by  the  people  thereof  upon  the  question  of  the  ratification 
or  rejection  of  the  said  Constitution,  and  hence  it  would  seem 
to  follow  that  Mercer  County  was  not  legally  a  part  of,  or  one 
of  the  Counties  of  the  state  of  West  Virginia  prior  to  the 
adoption  of  the  Consitution  of  1872. 

In  the  ordinance  adopted  by  the  reorganized  Government  of 
Virginia,  giving  consent  to  the  formation  of  the  new  state,  it 
was  provided;  "that  the  new  state  should  take  upon  itself  a 
just  proportion  of  the  public  debt  of  the  Commonwealth  of  Vir- 
ginia prior  to  the  1st  day  of  January,  1861,  to  be  ascertained  by 
charging  to  it  all  state  expenditures  within  its  limits,  and  a 
just  proportion  of  the  ordinary  expenses  of  the  state  Govern- 

200  New  River  Settlements 

ment  since  any  part  of  it  was  contracted ;  and  deducting  there- 
from the  moneys  paid  into  the  treasury  of  the  Commonwealth 
from  the  Counties  included  within  the  new  state  during  the 
same  period."  This  provision  was  duly  assented  to  by  the  new 
state,  and  hence,  the  principle  and  basis  upon  which  West  Vir- 
ginia's part,  part  if  any,  of  the  anti-bellum  debt  of  Virginia 
is  to  be  ascertained,  is  fixed  and  determined. 

Francis  H.  Pierpont  had  been  chosen  as  Governor  of  the  re- 
organized government  of  Virginia,  and  Arthur  I.  Boreman  as 
Governor  of  West  Virginia,  whose  government  went  into  oper- 
ation, on  the  20th  day  of  June,lS63,in  accordance  with  the  pro- 
clamation of  the  President  of  the  United  States,  under  an  act 
of  Congress  authorizing  the  admission  of  the  state  into  the  Un- 
ion. Upon  the  admission  of  the  new  state,  the  reorganized 
Government  of  Virginia  under  Governor  Pierpont  removed 
from  Wheeling  to  Alexandria,  Virginia.  During  the  existence 
of  the  reorganized  government  at  Wheeling,  the  formative  peri- 
od of  the  new  state  and  afterwards,  all  kinds  of  excesses,  po- 
litical, military  or  otherwise  were  perpetrated.  The  Virginia 
Government  at  Ridimond  claimed  and  attempted  to  exercise 
jurisdiction  over  the  same  territory  that  the  reorganized  Gov- 
ernment at  Wheeling  and  the  new  state  claimed  to  exercise, 
and  this  led  to  the  arrest  of  many  citizens  by  both  sides  for  al- 
leged political  offenses,  each  government  charging  treason.  It 
was  more  dangerous  to  life,  liberty  and  property  to  live  in  the 
section  refered  to  than  to  have  been  in  the  army  of  one  or  the 
the  other  of  the  belligerents.  A  peaceable  non-combatant  was 
liable  at  any  hour  night  or  day  to  be  arrested,  carried  away 
and  incarcerated  in  prison  without  any  charges  preferred 
against  him,  and  worse  than  all,  he  was  frequently  allowed  to 
lie  in  prison  and  perish  without  knowing  with  what  offense  he 
was  charged,  if  any.  In  partial  illustration  of  this  statement 
it  is  stated  that  one  Augustus  Pack,  of  Boone  County,an  old 
man  and  a  non-combatant,  who  carried  on  trade  between  the 
lines,  was  frequently  arrested,  first  by  one  side  and  then  by  the 
other,  and  carried  to  military  prison  where  he  remained  some 

1861-1865  201 

times  for  months,  and  then  released  upon  taking  the  oath  of 
allegience  to  the  Government  that  had  him  a  prisoner.  Gener- 
al Cox,  the  Federal  commandant  in  the  Kanawha  Valley,  had 
had  Mr.  Pack  so  frequently  before  him  that  he  had  become 
very  well  acquainted  with  him,  and  so,  as  the  story  goes,  on  an 
occasion  after  Mr.  Pack  had  been  arrested  by  the  Federal 
troops  and  was  being  carried  to  General  Cox's  headquarters, 
he  was  discovered  by  General  Cox  approaching  his  tent  under 
guard,  whereupon  the  General  exclaimed,  "Here  you  are  again, 
Pack,"to  which  he  replied,"Well, General, I  am  an  old  man  and 
have  nothing  to  do  with  the  war,  and  try  to  remain  at  home  a 
quiet,  peaceable  citizen,  when  along  comes  the  Rebels  who  ar- 
rest and  carry  me  within  their  lines  and  require  me  to  take  the 
oath  of  allegiance,  and  as  soon  as  I  return  home  I  am  picked  up 
by  your  men  and  brought  within  your  lines,  and  required  to 
take  the  oath  of  allegiance,  and  this  process  has  been  going  on 
for  several  months ;  the  truth  is.  General,  that  the  foxes  have 
holes  and  the  birds  of  tlie  air  have  nests,  but  as  for  me  I  have 
no^  where  to  lay  my  head." 

The  Federal  army  of  the  Potomac  under  General  George  B. 
]\[cClellan,  began  in  the  early  spring  of  1862  its  movement  to 
the  Peninsula,  and  General  Johnston's  army,  which  in  the  last 
days  of  March  had  retired  from  Centerville  behind  the  Rappa- 
hanock,  commenced  moving  by  way  of  Gordonsville  and  Rich- 
mond to  the  Peninsula.  The  brigade  of  General  A.  P.  Hill 
left  Richmond  by  steamer  on  the  James  River  on  April  10th, 
and  disembarked  at  King's  landing  and  from  thence  marched 
to  a  point  within  one  or  two  miles  of  Yorktown,  where  and  in 
the  vicinity  of  which,  it  remained  for  about  twenty  days  en- 
gaged in  picketing  and  drawn  out  in  line  of  battle  in  the 
swamps.  The  24th  Virginia  regiment  remained  attached  to  the 
brigade  of  General  Early. 

During  the  last  days  of  April  or  the  first  days  of  May,  at  any 
rate  before  marching  orders  were  received,  the  "Wiseacres" 
were  telling  us  that  we  were  to  retire  towards  Richmond. 

The  Confederate  Soldier  was  the  most  remarkable  of  all  the 

202  New  River  Settlements 

soldiers  that  the  world  has  produced,  and  that  in  many  ways. 
He  could  seemingly  know  more,  and  in  fact  did,  than  the  offi- 
cers in  immediate  command,  and  he  could  know  less  than  any 
soldier  in  an  army  when  he  wanted  it  that  Avay — or  when  so 
instructed,  or  when  he  found  it  necessary  for  his  convenience 
or  profit,  he  could  forget  his  name,  company,  regiment,  bri- 
gade, division  or  army  commandant;  could  even  forget  where 
he  was  from  or  whither  he  was  going.  This  same  soldier  could 
get  farther  from  camp,  get  more  rations,  and  get  back  quicker 
than  any  other  fellow  you  ever  met.  When  he  was  marching  he 
could  see  more,  laugh  louder,  brood  less  over  his  troubles,  and 
when  he  wished,  could  carry  more  than  any  soldier  any 
other  arm}'  ever  produced.  He  could  march  barefoot,  go  farther, 
complain  less,  eat  nothing,  never  sleep,  and  endure  more  gen- 
uine suffering  than  any  soldier  that  ever  marched  under  the 
banners  of  Napoleon.  When  he  reached  camp  after  a  long,  toil- 
some march  he  could  start  a  fire,  find  water,  and  go  to  cooking 
quicker  tlian  the  best  trained  cook  in  the  land.  Such  were 
these  men  who  were  being  trained  by  the  Lees,  Johnstons,  Long- 
street,  Jackson,  Pickett  and  the  Hills. 

Before  passing  to  the  description  of  the  retreat  of  the  Con- 
federates from  Yorktown,  it  will  be  noticed  that  in  the  fall  of 
18G1  General  Jackson  with  his  division  had  marched  from  the 
lines  in  front  of  Washington  to  the  Valley  of  Virginia ;  where, 
the  next  spring,  the  most  wonderful  military  campaign  in  re- 
corded history  was  conducted  and  directed  by  him,  in  which 
he  defeated  three  Federal  armies  in  succession,  and  then  in 
June  of  that  year  stole  away  from  his  enemies  and  helped  to  de- 
feat the  fourth  one. 

In  tlie  month  of  January,  1862,  the  McComas  Battery  had 
gone  with  the  Wise  Legion  to  Norfolk,  and  was  to  have  been 
sent  from  there  with  the  command  of  General  Wise  to  Roanoke 
Island,  but  owing  to  want  of  transportation,  only  a  part  of  the 
company  reached  the  Island.  Those  of  the  company  who 
crossed  over  to  the  Island,  together  witli  Captain  Dorman's 

1861-1865  203 

Mercer  company,  were  captured,  along  with  the  other  Confed- 
erate troops  thereon. 

In  the  month  of  March  this  battery,  under  the  command  of 
its  Captain, left  Norfolk  and  went  to  Elizabeth  City,North  Car- 
olina, near  where,  shortly  after  its  arrival,  it  engaged  without 
loss  in  an  artillery  duel  with  the  enemy.  A  short  time  there- 
after the  company  marched  with  the  3rd  Georgia  regiment  of 
infantry,  under  the  command  of  Colonel  Wright,t()  the  vicinity 
of  South  Mills,  North  Carolina,  where  on  the  19th  day  of  April 
it  was  engaged  in  a  severe  battle  with  the  enemy,  in  which  its 
gallant  Captain  was  slain  while  behaving  in  the  bravest  man- 
ner. Sergeant  James  M.  Peters,  and  Privates  Oscar  Blanken- 
ship  and  William  Hern  were  wounded. 

The  Federal  troops  3,000  strong,  with  four  pieces  of  artil- 
lery, led  by  General  Reno,  attacked  Colohel  Wright's  troops, 
composed  of  the  3rd  Georgia  infantry  585  strong,  some  North 
Carolina  militia,  Gillett's  company  of  Southampton  cavalry, 
and  McComas'  Battery  of  four  guns;  the  whole  Confederate 
force  not  exceeding  750  men.  The  fight  lasted  for  three  hours. 
Mr.  D.  H.  Hill,  Jr.,  in  his  Military  History  of  North  Carolina, 
in  reporting  this  engagement  says :  "At  last  McComas, who  had 
fought  his  guns  manfully,  was  killed,  and  Colonel  Wright  fell 
back  a  mile  to  his  supports.  General  Reno  did  not  attempt  to 
follow,  and  that  night  at  10  o'clock  left  his  dead  and  wounded 
behind,  and  made  a  forced  march  to  his  boats." 

The  Confederates  lost  6  killed  19  wounded,  the  Federals  13 
killed  and  92  wounded.  Captain  McComas  informed  one  of 
his  company  on  the  night  preceeding  this  battle  that  he  had  or- 
ders to  return  with  his  company  to  western  Virginia,  but  that 
he  did  not  want  to  go  until  he  had  fought  at  least  one  battle. 

This  company,  after  the  capture  of  Norfolk  by  the  enemy, 
under  the  leadership  of  its  First  Lieutenant,  David  A.  French, 
marched  to  Petersburg.  Its  subsequent  history  will  be  stated 

In  December,  1861,  the  60th  Virginia  regiment  of  infantry 
commanded  by  Colonel  William  E.  Starke,  in  which  were  the 

204  New  Eiver  Settlements 

Mercer  Companies  of  I'ack  and  Ryan,  was  ordered  and  went 
to  South  Carolina  where  it  remained  under  the  command  of 
General  Robert  E.  Lee  until  it  returned  to  Virginia  about  the 
last  daj's  of  April,  1862,  and  was  then  attached  to  the  brigade 
commanded  by  General  Charles  W.  Field  of  A.  P.  Hill's  div- 

On  the  evening  and  night  of  the  4th  of  May,  1 862,  General 
Johnston  quietly  withdrew  his  army  from  the  Yorktown  in- 
trenchments  and  hastened  up  the  Peninsula  as  rapidly  as  the 
condition  of  the  roads  would  permit.  The  Federal  gunboats 
were  passing  up  the  James  and  York  Rivers  with  an  army 
corps  on  transports  on  the  latter,  having  in  view  the  cutting 
of  General  Johnston's  line  of  retreat. 

The  enemy  pressed  so  hard  and  closely  upon  General  John- 
ston's rear  that  in  order  to  protect  his  trains  he  was  forced  to 
halt  and  offer  battle.  The  Divisions  of  Longstreet  and  D.  H. 
Hill  were  covering  the  retreat,  and  upon  them  fell  the  brunt  of 
the  battle  which  followed.  The  rear  of  the  army  had  reached 
Williamsburg,  twelve  miles  distant  from  the  starting  point 
about  daylight  on  the  morning  of  the  5th,  amidst  a  drizzling 

The  skirmishing  began  at  early  dawn,  and  grew  fiercer  as  the 
morning  wore  away;  so  that  by  high  noon  it  had  drifted  into 
regular  volleys. 

The  brigade  of  General  A.  P.  Hill,  in  which  was  the  7th  Vir- 
ginia regiment  of  infantry,  passed  from  the  grounds  of  the 
Eastern  Lunatic  Asylum,  where  it  had  encamped  two  hours 
previous,  by  William  and  Mary  College  to  a  point  near  Fort 
Magruder,  and  then  by  a  flank  movement  to  the  right  for  a  half 
mile  or  more,  was  brought  face  to  face  with  the  enemy,  who 
were  in  line  of  battle  in  a  wood,  Hill's  brigade  being  in  an  open 
field  where  it  received  a  volley  from  the  enemy  which  killed  and 
wounded  many  men.  The  brigade  ])ushed  forward  into  the  wood, 
getting  close  up  to  the  enemy,  and  fired  into  them  a  destructive 
volley,  and  then  charged,  driving  them  rapidly  for  more  than  a 
quarter  of  a  mile,  when  it  met  a  fresh  line  of  the  enemy  lying 

1861-1865  205 

down  behind  fallen  timber.  Here  the  battle  raged  for  more 
than  two  hours,  and  until  the  men  had  exhausted  nearly  every 
round  of  ammunition ;  whereupon  General  Hill  ordered  another 
charge,  and  the  enemy  was  driven  for  some  distance  through 
and  beyond  this  fallen  timber.  It  was  now  growing  dark,  the 
brigade  halted  and  returned  to  the  position  from  which  it  had 
started  in  the  charge,  and  where  it  remained  for  an  hour  or 
more  after  dark,  and  then  resumed  its  line  of  march. 

The  loss  sustained  in  the  7th  Virginia  regiment  was  77,  and 
in  company  D.,  the  Giles  Company  the  loss  was  as  follows,  viz : 
killed,  William  H.  Stafford,  wounded.  Lieutenant  E.  M.  Stone, 
and  the  following  men  of  the  line,  Allen  M.  Bane,  Charles  Wes- 
ley Peck,  Andrew  J.  Thompson,  John  A.  Hale,  John  W.  East, 
Isaac  Hare,  George  Knoll,  Anderson  Meadows,  John  Meadows, 
Demascus  Sarver,  William  I.  Wilburn,  Edward  Z.  Yager,  and 
David  E.  Johnston,  a  total  of  fourteen  killed  and  wounded,  be- 
ing about  25  per  cent,  of  the  number  carried  into  action.  Tap- 
ley  P.Mays,  of  this  company,  was  the  color  Sergeant  of  the  reg- 
iment, and  although  he  escaped  unhurt,  the  flag  which  he  bore 
was  pierced  with  23  balls  and  the  staff  severed  three  times.  For 
his  gallantry  in  this  action  Sergeant  Mays  was  awarded  a 
sword  by  the  Governor  of  Virginia. 

On  the  evening  of  the  same  day  General  Early  led  two  regi- 
ments of  his  brigade,  the  5th  North  Carolina  and  24th  Vir- 
ginia regiments,  against  a  fort  held  by  General  Hancock's  Fed- 
eral brigade.  While  General  Early's  men  fought  with  great 
steadiness  and  bravery,  they  were  forced  to  retire  with  the  loss 
of  190  men  killed,  wounded  and  prisoners.  General  Early 
was  among  the  severely  wounded;  as  was  also  Colonel  Wil- 
liam R.  Terry  and  Lieutenant  Colonel  Peter  Hairston.  The 
killed  and  wounded  in  Captain  Richardson's  Mercer  Company 
G,  24th  Virginia  regiment  were  as  follows:  Killed,  Isaac  Al- 
vis,  Edward  Bailey,  John  A.  Brown,  John  Easter,  and  Tobias 
Manning,  and  the  wounded  were  Alexander  East,  James  H. 
Mills,  lost  an  arm,  Stephen  Prillman,  Rufus  G.  Rowland,  Gor- 
don L.  Saunders,  lost   a    leg,    and   A    .J.    Whittaker,    Robert 

206  New  Riveu  Settlements  . 

Batchelor,  Granvil  F.  Bailey,  William  Bowling,  Jesse  Bow- 
ling, L,  A.  Cooper,  Jordan  Cox,  Marshall  Foley,  John  M.  N. 
Flick,  Peter  Grim,  James  T.  Hopkins,  Dennis  Johnson,  Addi- 
son Johnson,  Isaac  A.  Oney,  Theaddeus  Peters,  John  M.  Smith, 
Allen  Smith,  William  Stewart  and  George  W.  Toney  were 
captured,  a  total  of  twenty  nine. 

As  already  related,  the  company  of  Captain  Napoleon  B. 
French,  of  Mercer,  had  gone  with  General  Floyd's  command 
to  Fort  Donelson,  where  it  was  engaged  in  the  battle  of  the 
13th  day  of  February,  1862,  losing  William  Oney  killed  by  a 
shell  from  one  of  the  enemy's  guns,  and  the  whole  company 
with  the  other  troops,  except  Floyd's  brigade  and  Forrest's 
cavalry  regiment,  were  surrendered  as  prisoners  of  war.  Cap- 
tain French  being  absent  in  Virginia,  the  command  of  the 
company  had  devolved  upon  Lieutenant  John  J.  Maitland. 

Later  in  the  year  of  1862,  the  company  of  Dorman,  captured 
at  Roanoke  Island,  and  that  of  French,  surrendered  at  Fort 
Donelson,  were  exchanged  and  returned  home.  The  time  of 
their  enlistment  having  expired,  they  went  into  other  organ- 
izations, a  portion  going  to  Captain  Jacob  C.  Straley's  com- 
pany of  the  17th  Virginia  Cavalry  regiment,  another  portion 
to  Edgar's  battalion  of  Virginia  infantry,  and  another  por- 
tion to  the  30th  battalion  of  Virginia  infantry  commanded 
by  Colonel  Clark,  attached  for  part  of  the  time  to  the  bri- 
gades of  Echols  or  Wharton. 

Captain  William  H.  French  having  been  commissioned  Col- 
onel of  the  17th  Virginia  regiment  of  cavalry,  was  energetic- 
ally at  work  during  the  early  spring  and  early  summer  months 
of  1862,  in  getting  together  and  organizing  his  regi- 
ment, which  participated  in  many  of  the  expeditions  and  skir- 
mishes along  the  outposts  in  Western  Virginia  up  to  the  date 
of  the  advance  of  the  Federal  army  of  General  Crook  from  the 
Kanawha  Valley  in  May,  1864,  when  this  regiment  with  others 
of  Jenkins'  cavalry  brigade  and  the  troops  of  Colonel  William 
L.  Jackson,  under  Colonel  French,  were  stationed  at  the  nar- 
rows of  New  River  in  Giles  County  to  guard  that  point,  and 

1861-1865  207 

to  meet  the  forces  of  General  Crook,  should  they  move  by  that 
route,  of  which  full  statement  will  be  made  hereinafter. 

General  Johnston's  army,  after  defeating  the  Federals  at 
Williamsburg  and  at  White  House  on  the  York  River,  retired 
behind  the  Chickahominy. 

By  the  middle  of  May  and  first  of  June  the  army  of  General 
McClellan  had  made  its  approach  very  near  to  Richmond,  and 
had  extended  its  right  wing  far  up  in  the  direction  of  the  Vir- 
ginia Central  Railroad,  leaving  its  left  wing  across  the  Chick- 
ahominy in  front  of  Richmond.  Brigadier  General  A.  P.  Hill 
had  been  promoted  to  Major  General,  and  given  the  command 
of  a  Division,  which  included  Field's  brigade,  to  which  was  at- 
tached to  the  60th  regiment  of  Virginia  infantry. 

Upon  the  promotion  of  General  Hill  to  the  command  of  a 
Division,  Colonel  James  L.  Kemper,  of  the  7th  Virginia  regi- 
ment, had  been  commissioned  a  Brigadier  General,  and  assign- 
ed to  the  brigade  previously  commanded  by  Hill. 

For  some  time  previous  to  and  on  the  night  of  the  30th  day 
of  May,  1862,  Kemper's  brigade  had  been  in  camp  at  Howard's 
Grove,  a  few  miles  north  of  Richmond.  On  the  night  of  the 
30th  occurred  a  most  remarkable  electric  storm,  accompanied 
by  an  exceeding  heavy  downpour  of  rain,  which  continued 
for  many  hours  during  the  night,  and  so  flooding  our  camp 
that  we  were  compelled  to  stand  on  our  feet  in  our  tents  dur- 
ing the  long  hours  before  the  coming  of  daylight.  This  rain- 
fall had  flooded  the  low  lands  of  the  Chickahominv,  and 
caused  such  a  rapid  rise  in  that  stream  as  to  carry  away  or 
flood  the  bridges  over  the  same,  whereby  General  John- 
ston was  led  to  attack  the  Federal  troops  then  occupying  the 
bank  of  that  stream  on  the  side  next  to  Richmond.  The  Di- 
visions of  Longstreet  and  D.  H.  Hill  marched  at  an  early  hour 
on  the  morning  of  the  31st,  encountering  on  the  way  to  the 
battlefield  streams  so  swollen  as  to  greatly  delay  and  impede 
the  march.  The  7th  Virginia  regiment  with  Kemper's  brigade 
belonged  to  Longstreet's  Division.  The  24th  Virginia  regiment 
to  Garland's  brigade  of  Hill's  Division.     The  former  mention- 

208  New  River  Settlements 

ed  Division  marched  down  the  White  Oak  swamp  road,  the 
latter  down  the  AVilliamsburg  road.  Hill  opened  the  battle  a 
little  after  noon,  and  while  it  raged  with  great  fury,  the  sound 
thereof,  which  was  to  be  the  signal  for  Long-street's  attack, 
was  not  heard  by  him  for  some  time,  on  account  of  the  condi- 
tion of  the  atmosphere,  although  he  was  scarcely  two  miles 
away.  Finally,  General  Hill  requested  assistance,  and  Kemp- 
er's brigade  was  sent  him.  This  brigade  moved  rapidly 
through  swamps,  water  and  mud  until  it  reached  the  field  of 
Hill's  contention  on  the  Williamsburg  road,  when  about  four 
o'clock,P.M.,it  advanced  in  good  order  against  the  earthworks 
thrown  up  by  the  command  of  the  Federal  General  Casey,  and 
after  a  stubborn  contest  of  a  little  more  than  half  an  hour  it 
charged  and  carried  the  works,  capturing  the  enemy's  camp 
and  a  number  of  prisoners.  The  loss  in  company  D,  of  the 
7th  regiment  was  A.  D.  Manning,  killed ;  Serjeant  Elijah  R. 
Walker,  privates  Tarvis  Burton,  John  W.  Hight  and  Joseph 
Lewy  wounded.    The  total  regimental  loss  was  about  75. 

The  24th  Virginia  regiment  was  in  this  battle  in  the  brigade 
of  General  Garland  and  suffered  a  loss  of  one  hundred  and 
seventeen  killed  and  wounded,  among  them  its  Major,  Richard 
L.  Maury,  who  was  severely  wounded.  The  x^Iercer  company 
loosing  G.  H.  Gore,  killed,  George  P.  Belcher,  Hugh  M.  Faulk- 
ner, William  H.  Herndon,  George  A.  Harris  and  Luther  C. 
Hale  wounded. 

On  the  evening  and  night  of  the  day  after  this  battle  the 
troops  returned  to  their  former  camps,  wherein  they  for  the 
most  part  remained  until  the  opening  of  the  "Seven  Days  Bat- 

In  the  interim  between  the  close  of  the  battle  of  Seven  Pines, 
which  has  just  been  referred  to,  and  the  opening  of  the  "Seven 
Days  Battles,"  the  24tli  Virginia  had  been  detached  from  Gar- 
land's brigade,  and  attached  to  that  of  Kemper,  now  composed 
of  the  1st,  7th,  11th,  17th,  and  24th  Virginia  regiments. 

General  Branch,  of  North  Carolina,  with  a  brigade  of  North 
Carolina  troops  and  some  others,  was  fiercely  attacked  on  the 

1861-1865  209 

i6th  of  June  near  Mechanicsville  by  a  superior  force  of  Feder- 
il  troops  under  General  Porter,  and  Branch  defeated  with  se- 
'ious  loss,  though  after  a  brave  and  gallant  defense  on  his  part 
md  that  of  his  men.  General  A.  P.  Hill  going  to  the  support 
)f  Branch,  and  advancing  with  the  remainder  of  his  division, 
mjjported  by  Ripley's  brigade,  struck  the  Federals  at  Beaver 
Dam,  and  a  bloody  engagement  followed  lasting  far  into  the 
light  of  the  26th,  without  any  particular  advantage  to  the 

General  Jackson,  with  his  corps,  having  arrived  from  the 
Galley,  joined  Hill's  left  and  swinging  around  the  Federal 
'ight  compelled  General  Porter  to  withdraw  and  retire  to  Cold 
Elarbor,  where  he  occupied  an  exceedingly  strong  position,  but 
I'rom  which  he  was  driven  with  heavv  loss  on  the  27th,  as  here- 
inafter  related. 

The  movement  of  the  troops  of  Hill  and  Jackson  had  uncov- 
ered the  front  of  General  Longstreet's  Division  on  the  Mechan- 
icsville Road,  and  he  immediately  crossed  the  Chickahominy 
and  set  out  in  pursuit  of  the  retreating  enemy,  passing  on  the 
route  immense  piles  of  bacon,  flour,  wagons,  tents,  etc.,  which 
the  Federals  had  sought  to  destroy  to  prevent  them  from  fall- 
ing into  the  hands  of  the  Confederates. 

About  noon  or  a  little  past  on  the  27th,  the  head  of  Long- 
street's  column  reached  the  New  bridge,  in  the  vicinity 
of  Cold  Harbor  or  Gaines'  Mill,  where  it  halted  and  formed  a 
line  of  battle  behind  a  long  range  of  hills,  which  hid  it  from 
the  enemy's  view.  The  enemy  occupied  a  strong  position  be- 
hind a  small  creek  on  a  range  of  hills  in  part  fringed  with 
timber.  In  front  of  the  position  of  the  enemy  was  a  deep  ra- 
vine, through  which  flowed  a  small  branch  or  creek,  this  ra- 
vine he  filled  with  his  sharpshooters,  and  in  his  rear  was  a 
wooded  bluff  on  the  side  of  which  was  a  line  of  infantry  pro- 
tected by  log  breastworks.  Behind  this  line  was  another  line 
of  infantry,  sheltered  by  the  crest  of  the  hill,  and  the  high 
ground  behind  them  crowned  with  artillery.    To  reach  the  po- 

210  New  River  Settlements 

sition  of  the  enemy,  the  Confederates  must  pass  over  an  open 
space  of  some  five  hundred  yards. 

Kemper's  brigade  was  in  line  of  battle  behind  the  crest  of  a 
low  ridge,  and  behind  the  brigades  of  Wilcox,  Pry  or,  Pickett, 
and  Featherstone.  The  battle  raged  for  hours  with  great  fury ; 
more  than  once  was  the  charge  repeated  before  the  enemy's  po- 
sition was  carried.  Kemper's  brigade  was  not  engaged,  though 
exposed  to  the  fire  of  shot  and  shell,  but  suffering  little  loss. 
The  field  had  been  won,  and  the  day  was  ours. 

In  this  terrific  engagement,  as  well  as  that  of  the  day  before, 
the  60th  Virginia  regiment  was  a  participant,  and  suffered  se- 
vere loss,  its  Colonel   Starke  being  wounded  in  the  engage- 
ment of  the  26th,  and  the  two  Mercer  Companies  of  Ryan  and 
Pack   losing   a   considerable   number   of   men   in   killed   and 
wounded.     Colonel  Starke  in  his  report  of  the  engagement  of 
the  26th,  says :    "Our  loss  here  was  considerable.  Lieutenant  S. 
Lilley  of  Company  I,  Ryan's  Company,  being  killed.  Captain 
John  L.  Caynor  and  Lieutenant  P.  M.  Paxton  of  Company  F, 
and  Lieutenant  S.  D.  Pack  of  Company  A,  being  wounded,  and 
many  privates  both  killed  and  wounded.      On  the   next  day,  the 
27th,  this  regiment  was  again  engaged,  repelling  a  cavalry 
charge  of  the  enemy,  and  losing  many  valuable  officers  and 
men.      Colonel  Starke,  in  commending  its  conduct  and  that  of 
its  officers  refers  specially  and  by  name  to  Lieutenant  Colonel 
B.  H.Jones,  Major  John  C.  Summers,  Captain  John  M.  Bailey, 
and  Lieutenants  R.  A.  Hale  and  George  W.  Belcher,  the  three 
last  named  Mercer  County  men,  of  Company  H,  and  Lieuten- 
ants A.  G.  P.  George,  Stephenson,  and  Lilley,  the  latter  killed 
the  day  before,  and  adds:  "I  desire  to  notice  particularly  the 
good  conduct  of  Lieutenant  A.  G.  P.  George,  not  only  through 
out  all  the  engagements  in  which  the  regiment  participated, 
but  for  months  past  while  in  charge  of  Company  I,in  faithfully 
discharging   the  responsible  duties  of  his  position  *  *  *  the  high- 
est terms  of  praise  apply  with  equal  justice  to  Lieutenant  R.  A. 
Hale  *  *  *  upon  whom  owing  to  the  wounds  or  sickness  of  his 

1861-1865  211 

Captain  in  particular  engagements  devolved  the  command  of 
the  company." 

The  enemy  having  been  driven  from  the  field  of  Gaines'  Mill 
with  a  loss  of  6,837  men,  retreated  on  the  night  of  the  27th 
across  the  Chickahominy,  followed  on  the  next  and  two  suc- 
ceeding days  to  Frazier's  Farm,  where  the  divisions  of  Long- 
street  and  A.  P.  Hill  had  with  almost  the  entire  Federal  army, 
a  more  than  four  hours  bloody  engagement,  without  decided 
results  to  either  army.  In  this  battle  the  brigade  of  General 
Kemper,  together  with  that  of  General  Field,  was  heavily  en- 
gaged; the  former  brigade  constituted  the  extreme  right  of 
the  general  line  of  battle,  and  was  posted  upon  the  rear  edge  of 
a  dense  body  of  timber  and  on  the  right  of  and  nearly  perpen- 
dicular to  the  road  leading  through  Frazier's  Farm,  with  the 
17th  Virginia  regiment,  under  Colonel  Montgomery  Corse,  oc- 
cupying the  right;  the  24th  Virginia  under  Lieutenant  Colonel 
Peter  Hairston  the  left;  the  1st  Virginia  regiment  under  Ma- 
jor George  F.  Norton  in  the  center;  the  11th  Virginia  regiment 
Captain  Kirkwood  Otey  the  right  center,  and  the  7th  Virginia 
regiment  under  Colonel  Walter  Tazewell  Patton  the  left  cen- 
ter. After  suffering  from  a  severe  shelling  for  some  time,about 
5  o'clock  P.  M.,  the  order  to  move  forward  came,  and  the  bri- 
gade advanced  steadily  and  in  good  order,  notwithstanding  the 
entangled  undergrowth  which  filled  the  wood,  and  the  raining 
of  shot  and  shell  from  the  enemy's  guns  directly  in  front  of  the 
moving  column.  Upon  striking  the  enemy's  skirmish  line,  the 
advance  from  a  quickstep  into  a  double-quick  followed,  with 
loud  cheers,  and  by  the  time  the  brigade  had  cleared  the  wood 
and  reached  an  open  field  at  the  farther  side  of  which  stood  the 
enemy  in  full  line  of  battle  behind  log  breastworks  with  their 
batteries  beside  them  and  firing  rapidly,  the  continuity  of  the 
line  was  lost  and  much  confusion  followed,  but  the  impetuos- 
ity of  the  forward  movement  was  not  broken,  and  the  brigade 
fired  rapidly,  and  throwing  itself  upon  the  enemy's  infantry 
and  artillery  swept  them  away  like  chaff  before  a  hurricane. 
General  Kemper  says  in  his  oflScial  report  of  this  charge :  "A 

212  New  River  Settlements 

more  impetuous  and  desperate  charge  was  never  made  than 
that  of  my  small  command  against  the  sheltered  and  greatly 
superior  forces  of  the  enemy.  The  ground  which  they  gained 
from  the  enemy  is  marked  by  the  graves  of  some  of  my  Veter- 
ans, who  were  buried  where  they  fell ;  and  these  graves  marked 
with  the  names  of  the  occupants,  situated  at  and  near  the  posi- 
tion of  the  enemy,  shoAV  the  point  at  which  they  dashed  at  the 
strong  holds  of  the  retreating  foe."  Continuing,  General  Kem- 
per says:  ''It  now  became  evident  that  the  position  sought  to 
be  held  by  my  command  was  wholly  untenable  by  them,  unless 
largely  and  immediately  reinforced.  The  inferior  numbers 
which  had  alarmed  the  enemy  and  driven  him  from  his  breast- 
works and  batteries  soon  became  apparent  to  him,  and  he  at 
once  proceeded  to  make  use  of  his  advantage.  While  greatly 
superior  numbers  hung  upon  our  front,  considerable  bodies 
of  the  enemy  were  thrown  upon  both  flanks  of  my  command, 
which  was  now  in  imminent  danger  of  being  wholly  captured 
or  destroyed  *  *  *  no  reinforcements  appeared  and  the  dire  al- 
ternative of  withdrawing  from  the  position,  although  of  obvi- 
ous and  inevitable  necessity,  was  reluctantly  submitted  to." 
Again,  says  the  report:  "Among  those  reported  to  me  as  de- 
serving notice  for  gallantry  on  the  field  are  Captain  Joel 
Blackard,  Company  D,  and  Lieutenant  W.  W.  Gooding,  7th 
Virginia,  who  were  both  killed,  Sergeant  Major  Tansill  and 
Color  Sergeant  Mays,  the  latter  of  Company  D,  both  wounded, 
and  both  of  whom  had  distinguished  themselves  in  the  battles 
of  Williamsburg  and  Seven  Pines,  Lieutenant  Calfee  of  Com- 
pany G,  Mercer  County,  21:th  Virginia,  who  was  killed  within 
a  few  paces  of  the  enemy's  battery." 

The  Federal  General  McCall,  who  was  captured  in  this 
battle,  says  of  this  charge:  "Soon  after  this  a  most  determined 
charge  was  made  on  Randall's  battery,  by  a  full  brigade,  ad- 
vancing in  wedge  shape  without  order,  but  in  perfect  reckless- 
ness ;  somewhat  similar  charges  had  as  I  have  stated,  been  pre* 
viously  made  on  Cooper's  and  Kern's  batteries  by  single  regi- 
ments without  success,  they  having  recoiled  before  the  storm  of 

1861-1865  213: 

canister  hurled  against  them.  A  like  result  was  anticipated  by 
Randall's  battery,  its  gallant  commander  did  not  doubt  his 
ability  to  repel  the  attack,  and  his  guns  did  indeed  mow  down 
the  andvancing  host,  but  still  the  gaps  were  closed  and  the  ene- 
my came  in  upon  a  run  to  the  very  muzzle  of  his  guns.  It  was  a 
perfect  torrent  of  men,  and  they  were  in  his  battery  before  the 
guns  could  be  removed." 

General  Kemper  had  ordered  his  brigade  to  retire,  which  it 
did,  but  not  in  good  order,  but  soon  railed  again  near  the  spot 
from  which  it  had  made  the  charge.  The  loss  of  the  brigade  was 
414,  of  which  44  were  killed,  205  wounded,  and  165  missing;  of 
which  the  7th  Virginia  regiment  lost  in  killed  14,  wounded  66, 
missing.  The  24th  Virginia  regiment  lost  4  killed,  61  wound- 
ed and  14  missing.  The  loss  in  Company  D,  7th  Virginia  regi- 
ment were  killed.  Captain  Joel  Blackard,  wounded  Joseph  C. 
Shannon,  Daniel  Bish,  Jesse  B.  Young,  David  C.  Akers,  Hugh 
J.  Wilburn,  Tim  P.  Darr,  Francis  M.  Gordon,  George  A.  Min- 
nich,  T.  P.  Mays,  John  W.  Sarver,  Joseph  Southron,  Ballard 
P.  Meadows,  Lee  E.  Vass  and  Joseph  Eggleston,  and  Allen  M. 
Bane  captured ;  total  killed,  wounded  and  missing  16.  The  loss 
in  Company  G,  Mercer  Company,  24th  Virginia  was,  killed, 
Lieutenant  Harvey  M.  Calfee,  wounded  Thomas  C.  Brown,  lost 
a  leg,  John  Coebum,  A.  J.  Holstein,  Jeff  Thomas,  lost  a  leg, 
and  Lieutenant  Benjamin  P.  Grigsby. 

The  60th  Virginia  regiment,  with  its  brigade  and  divi- 
sion, had  a  most  distinguished  part  in  this  battle.  Among  oth- 
er things  stated  by  Colonel  Starke  in  his  official  report  of 
this  battle,  are  the  following:  '^On  Monday  evening  the  30th, 
June,  we  were  ordered  to  the  support  of  General  Kemper's 
brigade  then  engaged  near  Frazier's  Farm  with  an  overwhelm- 
ing force  of  the  enemy.  The  regiment  advanced  at  a  double 
quick  nearly  two  miles  to  the  broAV  of  the  hill  where  a  battery 
of  eight  guns,  Randall's  Pennsylvania  battery,  was  posted, 
which  had  been  taken  from  the  enemy  and  by  them  recaptured 
before  we  reached  the  ground.  Delivering  a  few  volleys,  the 
regiment  moved  forward,  charged  the  enemy,  drove  them  into 

214  New  River  Settlements 

and   through  the  woods  for  a  considerable  distance,   killing 
wounding  and  taking  many  of  them  prisoners,  and  recapturing 
the  battery.     On    reaching  the  wood,  however,  the  enemy  poured 
a  heavy  tire  into  our  line,  upon  which  the  command  was  given 
to  charge  bayonets.    This  command  was  obeyed  with  alacrity, 
and  very  many  of  the  enemy  fell  before  the  formidable  weapon. 
I  cannot  close  this  report  without  noticing  the  conduct  of  Pri- 
vates George  R.  Taylor  of  Company  E,  and  Robert  A.  Christian 
of  Company  I.    Private  Christian  in  the  bayonet  charge  of  the 
30th  was  assailed  by  no  leas  than  four  of  the  enemy  at  the 
same  time.     He  succeeded  in  killing  three  of  them  with  his 
own   hands,   though   wounded   in   several   places   by   bayonet 
thrusts,  and  his  brother  Eli  W.  Christian  going  to  his  aid  dis- 
patched the  fourth."     Both  Robert  A.  and  Eli  W.  Christian 
belonged  to  Ryan's  Mercer  company.     We  again  quote  from 
the  report  of  the  Federal  General  McCall,  in  which  he  says: 
"It  was  here  my  fortune  to  witness  one  of  the  fiercest  bayonet 
fights  that  perhaps  ever  occurred  on  this  continent.     Bayonet 
wounds,  mortal  or  slight,  were  given  and  received.     I  saw 
skulls  crushed  by  the  butts  of  muskets,  and  every  effort  made 
by  either  party  in  his  life  or  death  struggle,    proving  indeed 
that  here  Greek  had  met  Greek."    The  total  loss  of  the  60th 
Virginia  regiment  in  the  engagements  of  the  26th,  27th  and 
30th  day  of  June  was  204.     It  is  regretted  that  the  names  in 
full  of  the  killed  and  wounded  in  the  two  Mercer  companies  of 
the  60th  regiment  cannot  be  given  further  than  already  men- 
tioned, and  to  add  to  the  list  of  the  wounded  Washington 
Hodges,  Rufus  McComas  and  Wesley  Dillon,  the  latter  mor- 
tally. In  the  headlong  charge  of  the  60th  Virginia  regiment  on 
June  30th,  and  as  it  reached  the  log  breastworks  of  the  enemy, 
John  Hartwell,  of  Pack's  Mercer  Company,  a  man  of  about  six 
feet  six  inches  high,  raw  boned,  big  footed,  clumsy  and   awk- 
ward, caught  his  foot  in  getting  over  the  works  and  fell  head- 
long over  and  among  the  enemy,  exclaiming  as  he  fell,  "Get 
out  of  here,  you  d d  Yankees,  or  we  will  kill  the  last  one  of 

1861-1865  215 

you."  John  got  out  safe  and  all  of  the  enemy  not  killed, 
wounded  or  captured,  took  John  at  his  word  and  ran  away. 

On  the  next  day,  July  1st,  the  battle  of  Malvern  Hill  was 
fought,  but  neither  Kemper's  nor  Field's  brigades  were  engag- 
ed, though  drawn  up  close  to  the  firing  line  as  supports  and  sub- 
jected to  a  severe  shelling  from  the  enemy's  batteries  in  front 
and  his  gunboats  in  the  river.  On  the  night  of  the  first  the 
enemy  withdrew  from  the  Confederate  front,  and  retired  to  a 
strong  position  at  Harrison's  Landing  under  the  cover  and  pro- 
tection of  his  gunboats;  and  thus  ended  the  second  "On  to 
Richmond,"  and  the  Confederates  returned  to  the  vicinity  of 
Richmond  and  went  into  camp. 

The  McComas  Battery,  now  commanded  by  Captain  David 
A.  French,  had  been  brought  from  Petersburg  to  the  north  of 
the  James  and  was  in  position  on  the  Confederate  right  at  the 
battle  of  Seven  Pines,  and  during  the  Seven  Days  Battles,  but 
was  not  engaged.  After  the  battle  of  Malvern  Hill  it  was  sent 
with  some  infantry  down  to  Turkey  Island  on  the  James,  and 
later  to  a  position  in  front  of  Harrison's  Landing.  During  the 
campaign  of  1862  in  Northern  Virginia  and  Maryland,  it  re- 
mained as  part  of  the  forces  left  to  guard  the  defenses  of 

A  few  weeks  after  the  close  of  the  battle  around  Richmond, 
August  5th,  the  60th  Virginia  regiment  was  ordered  to  join 
General  Loring  in  western  Virginia.  Captain  William  H. 
French,  as  senior  Captain,  with  several  companies  of  cavalry, 
also  joined  General  Loring  in  his  Kanawha  Valley  campaign. 

It  now  becomes  necessary  at  this  place  to  relate  some  of  the 
incidents  occurring  in  western  Virginia.  As  has  been  related, 
in  the  summer  of  1861,  the  Federal  troops  had  advanced  to  Ka- 
nawha Falls  and  Gauley  Bridge,  General  Wise  retiring  to  the 
Big  Sewell  Mountain  and  Hawks  Nest  district  of  country,  and 
General  Floyd  marching  out  from  Lewisburg  to  reinforce  him 
and  to  oppose  the  Federal  advance.  After  some  severe  skirm- 
ishing by  the  troops  of  Wise  with  the  Federal  advance,  and 
some  maneuvering  on  the  part  of  both  armies,  General  Floyd 

216  New  River  Settlements 

advanced  to  Cross  Lanes,  in  the  county  of  Nicholas,  where,  on 
the  26th  day  of  August,  1862,  he  had  a  severe  combat  with  the 
Federal  troos,  whom  he  routed.  General  Floyd  after  the  bat- 
tle at  Cross  Lanes  fell  back  to  Carnifix  Ferry  on  the  Gauley 
and  fortified  his  position,  which  was  fiercely  assailed  by  Fed- 
eral troops  under  General  Rosecrans  on  the  10th  day  of  Sep- 
tember, but  they  were  finally  beaten  ofif,  Floyd  holding  his  po- 
sition until  after  nightfall  and  then  retreating.  In  this  en- 
gagement the  Federals  outnumbered  the  Confederates  about 
three  to  one.  These  incidents  are  merely  mentioned  because 
some  of  the  companies  from  the  New  River  Valley  were  in  the 
commands  of  Generals  Floyd  and  Wise. 

After  the  withdrawal,  in  the  fall  of  1861,  of  the  troops  of  Gen- 
erals Floyd  and  Wise  from  the  Kanawha  District,  and  the  dis- 
banding of  the  militia  brigades  of  Generals  Beckley  and  Chap- 
man, the  Federal  troops  under  General  Jacob  D.  Cox  ad- 
vanced and  occupied  Fayetteville,  the  County  town  of  Fayette 
County,and  later  Beckl'ey,  the  County  town  of  Raleigh  County 
at  which  latter  place  on  the  22nd  day  of  April,  1862,  Colonel 
E.  P.  Scammon  reports  Colonel  Thomas  Little  and  W.  J.  Com- 
er as  having  arrived  that  evening  from  Princeton,  and  who 
gave  as  far  as  they  knew  statements  of  Confederate  forces,  etc., 
and  adds,  "Colonel  Little  confirms  reports  of  intende:!  destruc- 
tion of  town  and  county  property."  In  the  last  days  of  April 
the  Federal  advance  reached  Flat  Top  Mountain  and  encamp- 
ed at  what  is  known  as  the  ]Miller  Tanyard,  place  on  the  turn- 
pike road  about  two  miles  south  of  the  main  top  of  the  moun- 
tain. At  this  time  the  only  Confederate  troops  in  the  County 
of  Mercer  were  the  small  cavalry  forces  of  Colonel  Jenifer  act- 
ing as  a  mere  corps  of  observation,  and  the  independent  com- 
pany of  Captain  Richard  B.  Foley  known  as  "Flat  Top  Cop- 
perheads." Foley  was  on  the  extreme  outposts  next  the  enemy, 
and  in  fact  was  the  eyes  and  ears  for  Jenifer's  command. 

General  Cox's  command  consisted  of  two  brigades  of  infan- 
try ;  the  first  commanded  by  Colonel  E.  P.  Scammon,  made  up 
of  the  23rd,  30th  and  12th  Ohio  infantry  regiments  and  Mc- 

1861-1865  217 

Mullen's  battery;  the  second  brigade  under  Colonel  A.  Moor 
composed  of  the  28th,34th  and  37th  Ohio  regiments  of  infantry 
and  Simmond's  battery,  also  one  battalion  of  Colonel  Boler's 
second  Virginia  cavalry,  and  Smith's  Ohio  cavalry  troop,  with 
a  train  of  250  wagons. 

On  the  last  day  of  April  the  Federals  had  thrown  forward, 
under  Lieutenant  Botsford,  some  seventy-five  men  of  the  23rd 
Ohio  regiment,  who  on  the  night  of  that  day  occupied  the  dwel- 
ling house  of  Henry  Clark,  which  is  situated  on  the  west  side 
of  the  Wythe,  Kaleigh  and  Grayson  turnpike  road,  about  eight 
miles  from  Princeton,  Russell  G.  French  acted  as  guide,  as 
he  was  thoroughly  familiar  with  the  country,  his  home  being  in 
that  neighborhood.  Foley  and  his  men,  who  were  on  the  alert 
and  hovering  around  the  enemy's  camp,  discovering  the  least 
movement  on  their  part,  determined  on  an  attack  on  the  Fed- 
eral outpost  at  Clark's  house.  Lieutenant  Botsford  and  his  men 
had  scouted  all  day  of  the  30th  of  April  in  search  of  Foley  and 
his  men,  but  were  unable  to  find  them;  had  even  gone  to  Cap- 
tain Foley's  home  and  throughout  the  neighborhood  on  and 
along  the  waters  of  Camp  Creek.  They  did  not  see  Foley,  but 
he  saw  them,  and  when  late  in  the  evening  tired,  and  worn  by 
their  days  tramp,  they  returned  by  way  of  Campbell's  Mill  and 
on  the  turnpike  road  at  Clark's  house  they  determined  to  camp 
for  the  night.  Captain  Foley  immediately  dispatched  messen- 
gers to  Confederate  headquarters  at  Princeton  advising  of  the 
situation,  and  an  attack  was  determined  upon.  And  so  on  that 
night  Major  Henry  Fitzhugh,  of  Kanawha,  with  the  border 
Rangers,  Captain  Everett,  Kanawha  Rangers,  Captain  Lewis, 
Mercer  cavalry,  Captain  W.H.  French,  Lieutenant  Graybeal  in 
command,  Tazewell  troopers.  Captain  Thomas  Bowen,  Bland 
Rangers,  Captain  William  N.  Harman,  Grayson  cavalry.  Cap- 
tain Boring,  Nelson  Rangers,  Captain  Fitzpatrick  and  Captain 
R.  B.  Foley's  independent  company  of  infantry,  moved  out  to 
Clark's  house  reaching  there  a  short  while  before  daylight  on 
May  1st,  and  took  position  near  the  house,  some  of  the  compa- 
nies not  fully  up.    Mr.  Clark  was  an  ardent  southern  man,  and 

218  New  River  Settlements 

had  been  compelled  to  quit  his  home  to  keep  out  of  the  way  of 
the  Federals,  but  his  brave  and  heroic  wife  with  her  small  son 
and  daughter  remained  at  home  and  braved  the  storm  of  bat- 
tle that  raged  furiously  around  her  for  nearly  an  hour.  Mrs 
Clark  whose  maiden  name  was  Mize,  was  born  and  raised  in 
Patrick  County,  Virginia,  and  was  a  woman  of  strong  natural 
sense,  and  in  her  undying  devotion  to  the  southern  people  and 
tlieir  cause,  she  was  excelled  by  no  woman  in  the  south.  She 
lived  to  a  ripe  old  age,  and  died  an  unrepentant,  unrecon- 
structed, Confederate.  It  may  well  be  said  of  her  as  Whittier, 
the  poet,  said  of  Randolph : 

"Too  honest  and  too  proud  to  feign 

A   love   she  never   cherished, 
Beyond  Virginia's  border  line 

Her  patriotism  perished." 

At  dawn  on  the  1st  day  of  May  the  Federals  came  out  of  the 
house  into  the  yard  and  fell  into  line  for  rollcall,  apparently 
little  suspecting  that  a  lurking  foe  was  so  close  at  hand.  The 
Confederates,  that  is  Foley's,  Harman's,Bowen's  and  French's 
companies  now  in  position,  immediately  opened  fire,  the  ene- 
my rushing  quickly  into  the  house,  which  is  of  hewn  oak  logs 
— equal  to  a  block  house,  a  secure  fortress  against  rifle  balls. 
The  house  as  it  then  existed,  since  removed,  was  only  one  and 
one  half  stories  high  and  had  a  rather  flat  roof  covered  with 
chestnut  shingles.  The  position  occupied  by  a  portion  of  the 
Confederates  was  on  high  ground  above  the  house,  the  Fed- 
erals occupying  the  second  floor  of  the  house  and  were  exposed 
to  the  balls  fired  by  the  Confederates  into  and  through  the 
roof,  and  it  was  chiefly  from  these  balls  that  the  Federals  suf- 
fered loss.  It  has  already  been  stated  that  four  of  the  Con- 
federate companies  had  taken  their  position  before  the  firing 
began,  but  in  point  of  fact  this  is  not  strictly  correct.  Foley's 
company  was  tlie  only  one  in  proper  position,  the  others 
were  moving  to  position  and  the  remaining  companies  had  not 
all  gotten  up.  The  intention  of  the  Confederates  was  to  sur- 
round the  house,  and  compel   the  surrender  of  the  Federal 

CLARK'S  HOUSE,  Mercer  County.  W.  Va. 

Where  engagfement  on  May  1st,  1862,  was  fought  between  a  Confederate 
force  under  Major  Henry  Fitzhugh,  of  Kanawha,  and  a  portion  of  the  Federal 
forces  of  Gen'l  Jacob  D.  Cox,  of  Ohio, 

1861-1865  219 

troops  that  had  taken  shelter  therein,  but  the  unexpected  ap- 
pearance of  the  enemy  in  the  yard  for  rollcall  prematurely 
precipitated  the  opening  of  the  fight.  The  soldiers  in  the  house 
displaced  the  filling  between  the  logs,  and  utilized  the  space 
for  placing  their  guns  therein  to  fire,  their  bodies  being  in  a 
great  measure  protected  by  the  walls  of  the  house.  The  Fed- 
erals boldly  and  bravely  maintained  the  fight,  and  just  as  Ma- 
jor Fitzhugh  had  given  the  order  to  surround  and  charge  the 
house,  the  head  of  a  column  of  Federal  reinforcements  came  in 
sight  and  immediately  opened  fire,  advancing  rapidly  at  a  dou- 
ble quick,  their  cavalry  at  full  speed.  The  Confederates  were 
now  greatly  outnumbered,  they  beat  a  hasty  retreat  closely 
followed  by  the  whole  of  General  Cox's  forces.  The  loss  on 
the  Confederate  side  was  only  eight  wounded,  viz:  Captain 
R.  B.  Foley,  James  H.  Fletcher,  James  Butler,  Hugh  Farmer, 
and  Alexander  Miller,  severely,  and  Greene  Bryson,  and  Mont- 
gomery Cox,  mortally.  Fletcher  and  Butler  belonged  to  the 
Mercer  Cavalry,  Cox  to  the  Tazewell  Troopers,  Bryson  and 
Farmer  to  Foley's  Company,  and  Miller  to  Harman's  Bland 
Company.  The  Federal  loss  was  20,  one  killed  and  19  wound- 
ed, among  the  latter,  Russell  G.  French.  Colonel  R.  B.  Hayes, 
of  the  23rd  Ohio  regiment,  reporting  this  engagement  to  Col- 
onel E.  P.  Scammon,  mentions  Mr.  French  and  says:  "French 
will  perhaps  be  crippled  for  life,  probably  die;  can't  he  be  put 
in  the  position  of  a  soldier  enlisted  or  something  to  get  his 
family  the  pension  land,  etc.?  What  can  be  done?  He  was  a 
scout  in  our  uniform  on  duty  at  the  time  of  receiving  his 
wound."  French  lived  until  recently,  having  died  in  Mercer 
County  at  the  age  of  about  eighty  seven  years.  He  was  a  great 
sufferer  from  the  wound  he  received.  He  lived  in  Mercer  County 
at  the  beginning  of  the  war,  and  was  on  principle  opposed  to 
the  war,  and  became  an  earnest,  zealous,  conscientious  Union 
man.  During  the  retreat  of  the  Confederates  from  Clark's 
house  to  Princeton,  Cornelius  Brown,  an  independent  Confed- 
erate volunteer  and  a  Mercer  County  man,  was  killed  on  Camp 
Creek,  near  the  house  formerly  owned  and  occupied  by  Captain 

220  New  Kiver  Settlements 

Thomas  J.  George.  The  retreat  which  was  continued  through 
Princeton  to  Rock?  Gap  and  beyond,  was  covered  by  the  Bland 
Rangers,  commanded  by  Captain  William  H,  Harman,  and 
well  and  gallantly  did  this  devoted  body  of  men  and  officers 
perform  this  service. 

As  before  stated.  Colonel  Jenifer,  whose  headquarters  when 
the  fight  took  place,  were  at  Princeton,  was  in  the  immediate 
command  of  all  the  forces  then  operating  in  Mercer  County. 
He  had  won  fame  and  reputation  as  a  Lieutenant-Colonel  of 
cavalry  at  the  battle  of  Ball's  Bluff,  on  the  Potomac,  in  Octo- 
ber, 1861,  but  now  he  was  about  to  and  did  commit  an  act  of 
vandalism  almost,  if  not  quite  unparalleled  in  the  annals  of 
civilized  war,  and  one  which  tarnished  his  fair  name,  and  over- 
shadowed all  the  glory  and  laurels  won  by  him  at  Ball's 
Bluif.  To  destroy  the  homes  of  non-combatant  enemies  in  time 
of  war  is  horrible  enough !  What  excuse  can  be  offered  for  one 
who  destroys  the  homes  of  his  friends,  especially  of  as  devoted 
and  self  sacrificing  a  people  as  those  of  Princeton? 

Learning,  for  he  was  near  the  fight,  that  his  forces  were  re- 
treating before  the  army  of  General  Cox  and  that  the  latter 
would  in  a  few  hours  occupy  the  village  of  Princeton,  Colonel 
Jenifer,  without  warning  or  notice,  ordered  the  burning  of  the 
village,  which  was  accomplished  under  his  own  supervision, 
whereby  old  men,  women  and  children  were  not  only  deprived 
of  shelter,  and  of  all  their  worldly  goods,  but  were  turned  out 
into  the  highways  in  the  mud  and  cold  rains  to  flee  whereso- 
ever they  might,  and  to  find  food  and  shelter  wheresoever  they 
could.  Not  only  did  this  man  Jenifer  have  burned  the  houses 
in  the  village,  including  the  public  buildings,  except  the  jail, 
but  had  the  church  buildings  in  the  western  and  southern  part 
of  the  County  destroyed,  and  then  fled  to  Wytheville  and  ad- 
vised the  burning  of  that  town.  In  volume  12,  part  1,  Rebel- 
lion Records  450,  will  be  found  the  official  report  of  Colonel 
Jenifer  to  General  Heth  concerning  the  burning  of  this  village 
which  is  inserted  herein  and  is  as  follows:  "On  April  30th  it 
was  reported  to  me  at  Rocky  Gap,  that  the  enemy  was  advanc- 

1861-1865 .  221 

ing  on  Princeton  from  the  direction  of  Raleigh.  In  conse- 
quence of  this  report  I  ordered  out  Lieutenant  Colonel  Fitz- 
hugh  with  about  120  dismounted  cavalry  and  some  70  or  80 
militia  to  meet  the  enemy  and  to  detain  him  if  possible  until 
I  could  remove  the  few  remaining  stores  from  Princeton  to 
Rocky  Gap.  I  also  ordered  up  the  forty-fifth,  Colonel  Peters, 
to  the  support  of  Colonel  Fitzhugh,  but  before  this  regiment 
could  reach  Princeton  the  enemy  had  advanced  so  rapidly  that 
fearing  Colonel  Peters  would  be  cut  off  I  ordered  him  back  to 
his  camp,  and  in  returning  his  regiment  was  ambushed  by  the 
enemy  and  thrown  into  some  confusion.  In  order  to  enable  me 
to  save  stores  and  property  at  Princeton,  it  became  necessary 
to  engage  the  enemy's  advance  column,  which  Colonel  Fitz- 
hugh, did,  inflicting  considerable  loss  on  the  enemy.  The  fight 
was  kept  up  for  thirteen  hours  and  for  a  distance  of  22  miles, 
was  well  contested  by  the  small  force  under  Colonel  Fitzhugh. 
During  the  engagement  we  lost  one  killed,  four  or  five  serious- 
ly wounded,  and  eight  or  nine  slightly  wounded.  The  wounded 
were  all  brought  ofl'  safe  from  the  field;  the  few  who  were 
seriously  wounded,  were  taken  to  houses  near  the  field.  The  en- 
emy's loss  is  supposed  to  be  35  in  killed,  wounded  and  missing. 
I  evacuated  Princeton  just  as  the  enemy  entered  it,  having 
first  fired  the  town." 

The  official  report  of  the  engagement  at  Clark's  house  on 
May  1st  by  Colonel  E.  P.  Scammon,  23rd  Ohio  regiment  is  as 
follows :  This  morning  at  daylight  the  advance  guard  of  Lieu- 
tenant Colonel  Hays,  a  company  of  23rd  regiment  under  Lieu- 
tenant Botsford  was  surrounded  and  attacked  by  about  300 
rebels  at  Camp  Creek.  Lieutenant  Botsford  reports  one  man 
killed  and  twenty  wounded,  all  but  three  or  four  slightly;  six 
or  seven  of  the  enemy  killed;  wounded  not  yet  known.  Six 
prisoners,  three  wounded,  had  been  taken,  and  others  being 
brought  in  when  messenger  left.  The  enemy  fled  and  Lieuten- 
ant Colonel  Hayes  had  reached  Camp  Creek." 

The  turnpike  road  leading  southward  from  Princeton  to 
Rocky  Gap  was  literally  lined  and  thronged  with  soldiers  and 

222  New  River  Settlements 

civilians,  the  latter  mostly  of  women,  children  and  old  men, 
fleeing  from  the  vanguard  of  the  Federal  army  which  was  en- 
tering Princeton  as  the  last  of  these  people  were  passing  out. 
The  Federal  soldiers  did  what  they  could  to  save  the  burning 
buildings,  and  among  these  Federal  soldiers  were  two  who  be- 
came Presidents  of  the  United  States,  viz:  R.  B.  Hayes  and 
William  McKinley.  The  Federals  seemed  satisfied  when  they 
reached  Princeton,  and  did  not  immediately  pursue  the  retreat- 
ing Confderates. 

By  this  time  the  Confederate  authorities  had  become  aroused 
by  the  gravity  of  the  situation,  and  the  threatened  advance  of 
the  army  of  General  Cox  to  the  Virginia  and  Tennessee  Rail- 
road, and  they  took  prompt  steps  to  gather  a  force  to  repel  the 

Brigadier  General  Henry  Heth  collected  a  force  at  Dublin, 
consisting  of  the  36th,  22nd  and  45th  Virginia  regiments  of  in- 
fantry, the  8th  Virginia  cavalry  regiment,  dismounted.  Chap- 
man's, Otey's  and  Vawter's  Virginia  batteries  of  artillery. 

Colonel  Gabriel  C.  Wharton  commanding  the  51st  Virginia 
regiment  of  infantry,  rendezvoused  at  Wytheville,  and  Gener- 
al Humphrey  Marshall  with  the  5th  Kentucky  infantry  under 
Colonel  Andrew  J.  May,  54th  Virginia  infantry  under  Colonel 
Trigg,  29th  Virginia  regiment  of  infantry.  Colonel  Moore,  and 
a  small  Virginia  battalion  of  infantry  under  Major  Dunn,  a 
battalion  of  Kentucky  cavalry  under  Colonel  Bradley,  and  a 
battery  of  artillery  under  Captain  Jeffries,  at  Tazewell  Court 
House,  Virginia. 

General  Cox  had  sent  forward  to  Pearisburg,  Virginia,  un- 
der Colonel  R.  B.  Hayes,  of  the  23rd  Ohio  regiment  of  infan- 
try, from  whence  it  was  driven  by  a  brisk  skirmish,  by  General 
Heth's  forces  on  the  10th  day  of  May  with  a  loss  to  the  Confed- 
erates of  two  killed  and  four  wounded,  among  the  latter  Col- 
onel Patton  slightly ;  the  loss  to  the  Federals  was  two  men 
killed,  and  five  or  six  wounded,  among  them,  Colonel  Hayes 

The  Federal  advance  under  Major  Comly,  of  the  23rd  Ohio 

1861-1865  223 

regiment,  reached  Pearisburg  on  May  6th.  Major  Comly  in 
his  report  says:  '^arrived  here  and  took  the  place  completely 
by  surprise.  No  houses  burned — citizens  all  here.  We  have 
captured  one  Major,  one  Lieutennat  Colonel,  and  fifteen  or 
twenty  other  prisoners." 

Colonel  Hayes  with  the  remainder  of  his  regiment  arrived  on 
the  evening  of  the  7th.  On  the  8th  in  his  report  to  Colonel 
Scammon  he,  among  other  things  in  speaking  of  Pearisburg  and 
its  people,  says:  "this  is  a  lovely  spot,  a  fine,  clean  village; 
most  beautiful  and  romantic  surrounding  country,  polite  and 
educated  secesh  people." 

Between  the  1st  and  the  10th  days  of  May,  General  Cox  had 
advanced  with  the  main  body  of  his  forces  to  French's  Mill, 
now  called  Oakvale,  on  East  River,  eleven  miles  south  of 
Princeton  and  seventeen  miles  from  Pearisburg.  Having 
learned  of  the  retreat  of  Hays'  regiment  from  Pearis- 
burg and  that  Heth's  forces  were  pursuing  and  that  his 
rear  was  threatened  by  both  Wharton  and  Marshall,  Gen- 
eral Cox  made  up  his  mind  to  advance  no  further,  but  to 
return  to  Princeton;  however,  before  doing  so  and  to  guard 
against  an  attack  from  Wharton's  column  moving  north  to- 
ward Princeton,  he  detached  on  the  evening  of  the  15th  and 
sent  westward  up  the  Cumberland  Gap  and  Prices'  turnpike 
road  Lieutenant  Colonel  Lewis  Von  Blessing,  with  five  com- 
panies of  the  28th,  four  companies  of  the  37th  and  two  com- 
panies of  the  34th  regiments  of  Ohio  infantry ;  but  Von  Bless- 
ing seems  to  have  returned  to  his  camp,  and  on  the  16th  moved 
up  East  River  again,  camping  about  Mills'  that  night,  and 
moving  toward  the  cross  roads  on  the  morning  of  the  17th. 

General  Wharton's  regiment  camped  on  the  night  of  the 
16th  at  the  Peery-Gibson  farm  at  the  southern  base  of  East 
River  Mountain,  breaking  camp  at  a  very  early  hour  on  the 
morning  of  the  17th.  The  men  were  in  light  marching  order, 
encumbered  with  only  one  wagon  containing  medical  stores, 
among  which  was  a  barrel  of  whiskey.  Wharton's  instruc- 
tions were  to  press  forward  to  Princeton,  this  being  the  point 

224  New  River  Settlements 

of  concentration  for  the  three  Confederate  columns  advancing 
upon  General  Cox,  whose  troops  or  a  part  of  them  had  had 
quite  a  lively  skirmish  west  of  Princeton  on  the  evening  of  the 
10th  Avith  the  vanguard  of  Marshall's  forces. 

On  reaching  the  toj)  of  East  River  Mountain,  early  on  the 
morning  of  the  17th,  Colonel  Wharton  discovered  some  three 
miles  away  to  the  east,  Colonel  Von  Blessing's  command  ad- 
vancing westward  along  the  turnpike  road.  Wharton  did  not 
know,  could  only  surmise  who  these  people  were.  He  did  not 
stop  to  see;  his  orders  were  to  go  to  Princeton,  gallant,  faith- 
ful soldier  as  he  was,  he  performed  his  duty;  that  is,  obeyed 
his  orders.  Without  halting,  but  pressing  forward,  passing 
the  junction  of  the  road  before  Von  Blessing's  column  reach- 
ed that  point,  and  throwing  out  a  rear  guard  he  took  the  road  to 
Princeton,  Von  Blessing  following  and  taking  the  short  route 
by  the  old  mill  of  Calfee  and  Bailey  and  into  the  turnpike  near 
the  present  residence  of  Mr.  Estill  Bailey;  Von  Blessing,  ap- 
parently, in  fact  evidently,  not  knowing  Wharton  was  in  his 
front,  or  if  he  did  he  took  it  to  be  a  very  small  force  with 
which  if  he  overtook,  he  would  have  no  difficulty  in  dealing. 
Colonel  W^harton  on  reaching  Pigeon  Roost  Hill,  found  him- 
self in  full  view  of  Princeton  and  only  about  one  mile  south 
thereof;  halting  his  regiment  and  reconnoitering,  he  discovered 
that  instead  of  Princeton  being  in  possession  of  the  Confed- 
erates under  General  Marshall,  as  he  had  been  led  to  suppose, 
that  it  was  occupied  by  the  Federal  troops.  In  the  meantime 
he  had  heard  the  sound  of  Marshall's  guns  west  of  Princeton 
on  the  New  Hope  road.  He  at  once  made  disposition  of  his 
troops,  placing  Major  Peter  J.  Otey,  late  an  honored  member 
of  Congress  from  Virginia,  but  who  died  a  short  time  ago,  in 
command  of  three  companies  of  infantry  and  one  piece  of  ar- 
tillery under  Lieutenant  B.  Langhorne,  and  with  instuctions 
to  Major  Otey,  the  next  in  rank  to  himself  to  place  a  line  of 
men  on  the  front  towards  Princeton,  and  one  facing  to  the  rear 
with  instructions  for  these  lines  to  furnish  support  to  each  oth- 
er as  necessity  might  require,  he  took  a  guide  and  started  to 

1861-1865  225 

find  General  Marshall.  At  the  place  where  Colonel  Wharton 
made  his  formation  the  road  winds  around  the  hill  in  the  form 
of  nearly  a  double  half  circle. 

General  Cox  knowing  that  his  Lieutenant  was  on  the  Wythe, 
Grayson  and  Raleigh  Turnpike  road,  and  doubtless  being  ad- 
vised of  Wharton's  movements,  with  whom  Von  Blessing  was 
likely  to  come  to  blows,  sent  forward  a  battalion  of  infantry  to 
reenforce  Von  Blessing.  This  advance  having  been  discovered, 
Major  Otey  threw  forward  to  meet  this  force  two  companies 
of  infantry,  one  of  them  the  Grayson  company  under  its  fear- 
less and  gallant  leader  Captain  William  A.  Cooper,  and  one 
gun  under  Lieutenant  Langhorne.  This  small  force  met  the 
advance  of  the  Federal  battalion  and  repulsed  it,  thereby  pre- 
venting its  union  with  Von  Blessing.  The  situation  just  then 
was  critical  for  both  sides.  Von  Blessing  was  cut  off  from  his 
friends,  and  Wharton's  regiment  placed  in  a  position  to  be  at- 
tacked both  front  and  rear  at  the  same  time.  Von  Blessing 
could  not  help  hearing  the  sound  of  the  contest  between  Lang- 
home's  gun,  Cooper's  men  and  the  Federal's,  and  no  doubt 
this  caused  him  to  hasten  his  steps,  for  he  knew  of  the  force  he 
had  been  following  from  the  cross  roads,  and  had  evidently 
made  up  his  mind  that  they  would  soon  be  between  two  fires 
and  killed  or  captured.  Overtaking  Wharton's  medical  wagon, 
causing  Dr.  J.  M.  Estill,  the  regimental  surgeon,  and  his  corps 
of  assistants  to  hurriedly  seek  shelter  behind  the  Confederate 
battle  line,  Von  Blesing's  men  unloaded  the  barrel  of  whiskey 
heretofore  mentioned,  and  soldier  like  they  soon  had  out  the 
head,  and  imbibing  freely  they  got  enough  to  make  them  large- 
ly forget  their  tiresome,  worn  out  condition,  and  soon  hurried 
on  to  the  field  of  slaughter  and  death.  Marching  by  the  route 
step  and  at  rapid  gate,  doubtless  enthused  by  the  whiskey, 
and  perhaps  also  by  the  thought  that  they  would  capture  the 
Confederates  in  their  front,  they  approached  without  discover- 
ing Wharton's  men  in  position  as  above  described,  and  suddenly 
meeting  a  rapid  and  concentric  fire  were  thrown  into  utter 
confusion  and  panic.    Under  orders  from  Major  Otey  the  Con- 

226  New  River  Settlements 

federates  charged,  and  the  Federals  fled,  closely  pursued  by  the 
exultant  Confederates.  Major  Otey  sprang  over  the  fence  in 
the  bend  of  the  road,  and  met  face  to  face  a  large  burly  Ger- 
man Federal  soldier,  armed  with  a  Belgian  rifle,  which  he  pre- 
sented at  Otey,  the  latter  firing  at  the  German  with  his  pistol 
striking  the  ground  about  his  feet,  and  railing  out  at  him,  say- 
ing: "Why  are  you  trying  to  shoot  me  when  you  knoAV  that 
your  men  are  running?"  to  which  the  German  replied,  "Well, 
Mister,  my  gun  ain't  loaded." 

Retreating  for  about  one  mile  on  the  road  over  which  they 
had  just  advanced,  and  reaching  Brush  Creek  Bridge,  they 
were  piloted  by  some  one  who  knew  the  country,  over  a  by-path 
through  the  farms  of  Bratton,  Straley  and  others,  to  a  point  on 
the  Princeton  and  Twelve-Mile  Fork  road,  about  two  miles 
south  of  the  first  named  place.     Here  they  were  within  two 
miles  of  the  town  now  occupied  by  General  Cox,  and  why  Col- 
onel Von  Blessing  did  not  move  immediately  into  the  town  is 
unexplainable,  except  upon  the  supposition  that  General  Cox 
was  yet  at  French's  Mill.     There  can  be  no  sort  of  question 
that  Colonel  Von  Blessing  and  his  men  were  greatly  demoral- 
ized, consequent  upon  their  being  suddenly  attacked,  in  fact 
surprised.    His  loss  according  to  his  own  report,  was  18  killed, 
56   wounded   and   14   captured,   while   the   Confederates   lost 
but  one  man  and  he  killed  by  accident,  and  nine  wounded.    The 
total  Federal  loss  around  Princeton  during  the  two  days  of 
partial  engagements,  was  23  killed,  69  wounded,  and  21  miss- 
ing.    The  total  loss  of  the  Confederates  was  three  killed,  21 
wounded,  among  them  Captain  Elliott  of  Kentucky,  mortally 
and   who  soon   died.    Von   Blessing  on   his   march   from  the 
bridge  over  Brush  Creek,  two  miles  south  of  Princeton,  and  in 
passing  through  the  farm  of  Mr.  H.  W.  Straley,  met  him  in 
the  road  on  his  horse  on  his  way  from  the  mill,  whither  he  had ' 
been  to  get  bread  for  his  family.    He  took  charge  of  Mr.  Stra- 
ley, as  also  of  his  horse,  and  dismounting  him,  placed  a  wound- 
ed Federal  soldier  on  the  horse. 
The  fight  at  Pigeon  Roost  Hill  took  place  about  10  o'clock  on 

1861-1865  227 

the  morning  of  the  17th.  Colonel  Von  Blessing,  with  his  badly 
scared  and  demoralized  men,  did  not  reach  the  Princeton  and 
Twelve  Mile  Fork  road  until  towards  the  middle  of  the  after- 
noon, and  although  only  four  miles  away  he  did  not  reach  the 
mouth  of  Twelve  Mile  Fork  at  Spangler's,  until  after  dark.  He 
halted  at  the  mouth  of  the  fork  for  several  hours,  and  then  re- 
traced his  steps  to  the  right-hand  branch  of  that  fork  and  up  the 
same,  passing  out  through  the  farms  of  Major  Wm.  M.  Reynolds 
and  Charles  Stinson,  and  directly  across  the  front  of  General  ' 
Heth's  command  occupying  the  Princeton  and  French's  Mill 
roads,  and  on  through  the  Gooch  and  Grigsby  farms  to  the  old 
Logan  road  near  Pisgah  Church.  Before  fair  dawn  on  the  morn- 
ing of  the  ISth  they  had  reached  the  farm  lately  owned  by  T. 
K.  Lambert,  formerly  by  Captain  William  A.  Cooper,  and  were 
in  sight  of  the  Princeton  and  Red  Sulphur  roads,  whereupon 
they  discovered  a  troop  of  Confederate  cavalry  passing,  which 
seemed  to  give  fresh  impetus  to  their  fleeing  capacity ;  in  fact 
thew  were  so  alarmed  that  they  cried  out,  "Rebel  Calvary! 
Rebel  Cavalry!"  and  broke  into  panic  and  wild  confusion^ 
fled  with  all  speed  on  and  along  the  old  Logan  road,  throwing 
away  guns,  cartridge  boxes,  indeed  everything  that  could  in 
any  way  impede  their  making  a  successful  run ;  which  did  not 
end  until  they  had  joined  at  Spanishburg,  nine  miles  away. 
General  Cox's  column  retreating  from  Princeton.  The  reader 
no  doubt  has  asked  himself  the  question,  what  became  of  Mr. 
Straley,  his  horse  and  the  wounded  man  ?  So  soon  as  the  panic 
began  at  Lambert's  farm  the  wounded  man  on  Straley's  horse 
dismounted  and  fled  with  his  comrades.  Mr.  Straley  seized 
his  horse's  bridle  and  attempted  to  mount,  but  his  saddle  turn- 
ed and  the  already  affrighted  horse  became  only  the  more 
frightened  and  simply  kicked  himself  free  from  the  saddle.  Mr. 
Straley  did  not  stop  to  gather  up  the  saddle,  but  mounting  the 
horse  without  the  saddle,  sped  rapidly  through  the  woods  and 
swamps,  until  he  reached  home  some  four  miles  away. 

The  Confederate  column  under  General  Heth  had  on  the  17th 
advanced  on  and  along  the  French's  Mill  and  Princeton  road 

228  New  Kiver  Settlements 

to  the  west  side  of  the  Adam  Johnston  farm  and  about  four 
miles  from  Princeon;  having  ample  time  by  continuing  the 
march  to  have  joined  battle  with  General  Cox  before  nightfall, 
but  for  some  reason  best  known  to  General  Heth,  he  halted  his 
command  at  the  point  indicated  until  after  night.  A  wagon 
and  team  belonging  to  General  Cox's  forces  had  driven  out  on 
this  road  in  search  of  some  baggage  left  at  a  farm  house  by 
the  Federals  retreating  from  French's  Mill,  and  a  Federal  cou- 
rier was  captured,  from  whom  Heth  got  information  which  in- 
duced him  to  retire  his  forces  to  Big  Hill,  about  two  miles  north 
of  French's  Mill.  Whether  the  courier  was  sent  specially  to 
mislead  General  Heth  no  one  on  the  Confederate  side  knew, 
but  Heth's  non-action  and  retrograde  movement  enabled  Gen- 
eral Cox  to  retreat  in  safety,  and  he  did  so  that  night,  in  fact 
began  his  retreat  before  night,  for  Marshall's  command  occu- 
pied the  village  the  next  morning. 

As  before  stated,  Marshall's  column  advanced  on  the  New 
Hope  Cliurch  road,  and  did  not  encounter  resistance  until  it 
reached  a  point  about  one  mile  east  of  New  Hope  Church,  where 
it  met  the  Federal  skirmishers.  The  5th  Kentucky  regiment  un- 
der Colonel  A.  J.  May  led  the  advance,  and  rapidly  pushed  the 
Federal  skirmishers  back  upon  their  reserve  at  Princeton. 
General  Marshall  brought  forward  his  battery,  planting  it  on 
the  high  bluff  just  west  of  the  dwelling  house  owned  by  the  late 
Leander  P.  Johnston.  The  Federal  battery  in  opposition  to 
Marshall's,  one  parrot  gun  was  posted  on  the  cemetery  hill 
about  one  half  mile  west  of  Princeton,  and  was  supported  by 
some  companies  of  the  37th  Ohio  regiment  under  Col.  Moore. 
The  pressure  from  the  columns  of  Marshall  and  Wharton  from 
the  south  and  west,  and  the  threatening  attitude  of  Heth's  col- 
umn from  the  east,  caused  Gen.  Cox  to  withdraw  from  Prince- 
ton and  return  to  Flat  Top.  He  began  his  retreat  on  the  even- 
ing of  the  17th,  but  all  did  not  get  away  until  in  the  early 
morning  of  the  18th,  when  the  forces  of  Marshall  occupied  the 
village  of  Princeton  about  sunrise  of  the  same  morning.  In 
the  skirmish  on  the  New  Hope  road  between  Marshall's  forces 

1861-1865  229 

and  the  Federals,  the  loss  of  the  former  was  a  few  men  wound- 
ed, while  the  latter  had  two  or  three  killed  and  several  wound- 

Lieutenant  Colonel  Lewis  Von  Blessing  the  commandant  of 
the  Federal  force  which  was  defeated  by  Wharton's  Virginia 
regiment  on  Pigeon  Roost  Hill,  on  the  morning  of  the  17th  of 
May,  made  to  his  superior  oflScer  his  report,  in  which  among 
other  things,  he  states :  "It  is  difficult  to  give  the  force  of  the 
enemy  against  us  in  the  fight  of  the  17th.  They  fired  all  sorts 
and  all  Calibers  of  balls,  even  with  fire  balls  and  hand  grenades. 
The  dead  of  the  37th  regiment  number  11,  so  many  having  been 
recognized,  and  36  severely  wounded  have  been  transported  to 
Princeton  and  left  in  the  hands  of  the  enemy.  Seven  slightly 
wounded  have  been  brought  back  to  the  regiment,  and  18  are 
still  missing  from  the  four  companies  engaged  in  the  combat. 
The  loss  of  the  28th  regiment  is  5  killed  and  10  wounded;  from 
the  companies  of  the  34th  regiment  2  wounded." 

Except  a  few  troops  from  Kentucky,  and  from  the  Virginia 
border  along  the  Kanawha,  Ohio  and  Sandy  waters,  the  men 
who  fought  the  battles  around  Princeton  were  chiefly  New 
River  Valley  men.  It  may  here  also  be  noted  that  a  number  of 
companies  of  New  River  Valley  men  served  in  General 
Jackson's  corps.  Pulaski,  Wythe  and  Montgomery  Counties 
furnished  three  or  more  companies  to  the  4th  Virginia  regiment 
of  the  Stonewall  brigade,  while  Monroe  furnished  one  company 
and  the  27th  regiment  of  the  same  brigade. 

Of  the  numbers  Federals  and  Confederates  engaged  in  this 
campaign,  they  were  not  far  from  equal,  with  perhaps  a  slight 
preponderance  in  favor  of  the  Confederates.  General  Cox 
certainly  out  generaled  the  Confederates,  and  the  military  crit- 
ics will  say  in  reviewing  this  campaign  its  management  and  re- 
sults, that  the  Confederates  woefully  blundered,  and  that  their 
adversary  took  advantage  of  their  blunders,  escaping  when 
within  their  grasp.  It  may  be  added  here  that  of  the  fatally 
wounded  on  the  Confederate  side  at  Clark's  house  on  the  1st 
of  May,  Greene  Bryson  died  at  the  house  of  William  Ferguson, 

230  New  River  Settlements 

on  Wolf  Creek,  and   Montgomery   Cox   reached   his   home   in 
Wjtheville,  where  he  soon  expired. 

In  tlie  little  village  of  Princeton,  out  of  near  an  hundred 
houses,  only  about  nine  or  ten  remained  after  the  burning.  The 
suffering  of  the  non-combatants,  the  old  men,  women  and  chil- 
dren, who  were  compelled  to  abandon  their  homes,  and  the 
county,  and  most  of  whom  never  returned,  are  beyond  the  pow- 
ers of  description. 

After  the  close  of  the  military  operation  around  Princeton 
in  the  spring  of  1862  General  Heth  moved  across  New  River, 
and  marched  upon  Lewisburg,  then  occupied  by  a  Federal  force, 
with  which  on  the  23rd  of  May  he  fought  a  severe  battle  in 
which  his  troops  were  totally  defeated  with  considerable  loss. 
The  Federal  forces  numbered  about  1500,  Heth's  about  2,000. 
The  Federal  loss  was  13  killed,  53  wounded  and  7  missing;  the 
Confederate  loss  was  38  killed,  70  wounded  and  100  captured 
together  with  four  pieces  of  artillery.  Among  the  Confederate 
officers  captured  was  Major  George  M.  Edgar.  Captain  Thomas 
W.  Thompson,  of  Mercer  County,  commanding  a  company  in 
Edgar's  battalion,  was  permanently  disabled  by  a  severe 

Between  the  close  of  this  campaign  and  the  advance  of  Gen- 
eral Crook's  Federal  arm}'  in  the  spring  of  1864,  no  very  con- 
siderable body  of  Federal  troops  entered  the  county  of  Mercer. 
There  were  numerous  scouting  parties  and  frequent  small 
skirmishes  between  small  bodies  of  Federals  and  Confederates 
during  this  period.  There  are  some  things  and  incidents  to  be 
related  which  occurred  during  this  period  along  the  border  and 
in  the  county  of  Mercer  which  are  reserved  until  the  proper 
date  is  reached  in  which  these  events  occurred;  and  a  return 
will  now  be  made  to  the  movements  of  the  army  of  Northern 
Virginia,  which,  as  will  be  recollected,  was  left  in  camp  in  front 
of  Richmond  after  the  close  of  the  Seven  days  battles. 

About  the  time  of  the  close  of  the  fighting  around  Richmond 
on  the  first  day  of  July,  1862,  the  Federal  General  Pope  mak- 
ing himself  troublsome  in  Northern  Virginia,  Major  General 

1861-1865  231 

Jackson  with  his  corps  in  the  latter  days  of  July  marched  in 
the  direction  of  Rapidan,  and  on  the  9th  day  of  August  fought 
a  fierce  and  bloody  battle  at  Cedar  Mountain,  in  Culpeper 
County,  with  a  large  part  of  General  Pope's  army,  in  which  the 
latter  was  defeated  and  driven  from  the  field,  but  that  night 
and  the  next  day  being  largely  reenforced,  and  greatly  out- 
numbering the  troops  under  General  Jackson,  the  latter  re- 
treated across  the  Rapidan  to  await  help  from  General  Lee, 
who  by  this  time  believing  himself  and  Richmond  safe  from 
any  attack  from  the  army  of  General  McClellen  at  Harrison's 
Landing,  on  August  13th  sent  forward  General  Longstreet 
with  his  division,  including  Kemper's  brigade,  to  the  assistance 
of  General  Jackson;  and  on  the  15th  himself  left  for  the 

General  Lee  prepared  to  strike  Pope's  left,  but  that  distin- 
guished General  took  fright  and  retired  behind  the  Rappahan- 
ock,  whither  General  Lee  closely  followed;  and  for  several 
days  continual  skirmishing  and  artillery  duels  were  kept  up 
at  the  fords  along  that  river,  until  finally  General  Jackson  had 
so  far  removed  to  the  left  and  up  the  river  as  to  allow  General 
Longstreet  to  occupy  his  place  on  the  river  front,  and  so  to 
speak  pulled  the  bridle  off  Jackson  and  turned  him  loose  after 

General  Lee  sent  General  Stuart  with  a  portion  of  his  cav- 
alry to  sever  Pope's  connection  with  Alexandria  and  Wash- 
ington, which  he  in  some  measure  accomplished,  but  not  fully  on  • 
account  of  the  terrific  rainfall,  and  at  the  same  time  impelled 
General  Jackson's  corps  on  the  22nd  and  23rd  up  the  Rappa- 
hannock to  Warrenton  Springs;  Pope  marching  up  on  parallel 
lines,  but  not  fully  understanding  the  significance  of  the  move- 
ment, rather  supposing  at  the  first  that  Jackson  was  making 
for  the  Valley. 

Jackson  still  pushing  up  the  river  on  the  25th  with  his  three 
divisions,  crossed  the  upper  Rappahanock  and  bivouaced  that 
night  at  Salem,  on  the  Manassas  Gap  Railroad,  General  Lee 
in  the  meantime  occupying  as  far  as  possible  Pope's  attention 

232  New  River  Settlements 

ou  the  Kappahanock  with  Longstreet's  troops.  General  Jack- 
son continued  his  movement  until  he  reached  the  rear  of  the 
Federal  army,  cutting  its  line  of  communications  and  captur- 
ing immense  stores  at  Manassas  Junction,  appropriating  so 
much  thereof  as  he  could  use  and  get  away  with,  destroyed  the 
remainder.  General  Longstreet's  corps  soon  followed,  taking 
the  same  route  pursued  by  Jackson's  corps,  and  on  reaching 
Thoroughfare  Gap  on  the  evening  of  August  28th  found  it  held 
by  the  enemy.  Next  morning  the  forward  movement  began, 
Kemper's  brigade  following  another,  moving  through  the  gap 
while  some  other  Confederate  troops  by  a  flank  movement  had 
caused  the  enemy  to  withdraw  from  his  strong  position  in  the 

As  Kemper's  men  cleared  the  gap  and  reached  the  vicinity 
of  Haymarket,  they  could  distinctly  hear  the  roar  of  the  guns 
of  the  enemy  and  those  of  Jackson.  The  pace  was  quickened  as 
the  troops  passed  on  and  along  the  highway  in  clouds  of  dust 
and  suffering  for  water.  It  was  near  high  noon  when  Kemper's 
brigade  reached  the  vivinity  of  the  battlefield,  and  late  that  af- 
ternoon the  roar  of  the  battle  on  the  left  told  us  that  Jack- 
son's men  with  a  portion  of  Longstreet's  were  hotly  engaged. 
Some  skirmishing  and  artillery  firing  occurred  in  the  forenoon 
of  the  30th,  and  then  for  a  while  there  was  a  calm;  in  which 
both  armies  were  preparing  for  the  fray. 

General  Kemper  was  placed  in  command  of  a  division  con- 
sisting of  Jenkins',  Hunton's  and  his  own  brigade,  the  latter 
commanded  by  Colonel  Montgomery  D.  Corse  of  the  17th  Vir- 
ginia regiment. 

The  battle  rolled  along  the  left  front  of  Kemper's  brigade 
with  fury,  when  about  three  o'clock,  P.  M.,  the  order  came  to 
move  forward,  which  was  done  at  double  quick,  the  men  fix- 
ing their  bayonets  as  they  went.  Through  a  strip  of  woods 
and  into  an  open  field  a  little  to  the  south  of  the  Chinn  house, 
brought  the  brigade  almost  into  the  presence  of  the  enemy, 
but  in  the  direction  of  a  right  oblique  from  them;  and  in  order 
to  face  them  a  left  half  wheel  was  made  which  brought  it  in 

1861-1865  233 

full  face  to  the  enemy,  only  a  few  hundred  yards  away,  stand- 
ing in  line  of  battle  in  open  ground  across  a  small  ridge  or 
elevation  beyond  the  Chinn  house,  and  a  little  north  and  west  of 
an  old  Virginia  rail  fence,  with  a  five  gun  battery  on  top  of  the 
elevation  in  line  with  its  infantry  supports. 

Kemper's  brigade  went  forward  in  good  order  at  a  quick 
step,  until  striking  the  Chinn  house  which  compelled  it  to 
make  a  left  oblique  movement  creating  some  confusion,  which 
however  was  but  momentary.  Away  it  dashed  at  the  enemy's 
line  firing  as  it  advanced,  reached  and  crossed  the  rail  fence 
and  on  to  and  over  the  Federal  battery,  scattering  the  canon- 
iers  with  their  infantry  support.  A  short  distance  beyond 
the  brigade  was  halted;  its  supports  coming  up  it  was  finally 
withdrawn  to  a  pine  thicket  in  the  rear  of  the  ground  over 
which  it  had  fought.  After  the  brigade  started  on  the  charge 
every  man  was  his  own  General,  and  there  was  no  earthly  pow- 
er could  have  stopped  it  until  it  had  accomplished  the  object 
for  which  it  had  made  the  charge,  viz,  the  capture  of  the  Fed- 
eral guns  and  defeat  of  its  infantry  supports.  In  this  charge 
the  left  of  the  7th  Virginia  regiment  became  somewhat  inter- 
mingled with  the  right  of  the  24th  Virginia  regiment,  so  that 
both  regiments  are  entitled  to  claim  credit  for  the  capture  of 
the  guns.  The  colors  of  the  7th  regiment  having  fallen,  were 
seized  by  Lieutenant  Colonel  Flowerree,  who  upon  the  fall  of 
Colonel  Patton  handed  them  to  Lieutenant  Stewart.  In  ad- 
dition to  the  five  guns  the  brigade  had  captured,  a  flag  from  the 
enemy  was  also  taken,  but  it  had  paid  dearly  in  precious  lives 
and  blood  for  its  victory.  The  enemy  was  beaten  and  was  get- 
ting away,  but  night  now  upon  us  prevented  successful  pur- 
suit. The  brigade  loss  was  33  killed,  240  wounded,  and  one 
missing.  The  7th  Virginia  regiment  lost  5  killed,  and  48 
wounded.  The  24th  Virginia  regiment  lost  11  killed  and 
67  wounded.  Among  the  field  oflScers  wounded  were  Colonel 
Corse  commanding  the  brigade,  Colonel  Patton,  Lieutenant 
Colonel  Flowerree,  and  Major  Swinler,  the  latter  losing  a  leg, 
as  well  also  as  Adjutant  Hugh  M.  Patton  and  Sergeant  Major 


234  New  Kiver  Settlements 

I'ark  of  the  7th  regiment.  Company  D,  of  the  7th  regiment, 
lost  the  following  members:  killed,  John  Q.  Martin;  wounded 
Captain  R,  H.  Bane  and  Lieutenant  John  W.  Mullens,  and  pri- 
vates W.  H.  Carr,  John  S.  Dudley,  Elbert  S.  Eaton,  Adam 
Thompson,  William  C.  Fortner,  James  H.  Fortner,  Francis  H. 
Farley,  J.  Tyler  Frazier,  John  W.  Hight,  Gordon  L.  Wilburn, 
Hugh  J.  Willburn,  William  I.  Wilburn,  James  J.  Nye,  and 
AVashington  R.  C.  Vass,  the  latter  two  mortally;  Vass  dying 
that  night  and  Nye  in  a  day  or  two  after.  Out  of  about  57 
men  carried  into  action  only  40  came  out  unhurt.  The  loss  in 
officers  in  the  7th  Virginia  was  12.  The  loss  in  the  Giles  and 
Jilercer  companeis  in  the  24th  regiment  was  severe.  The  names 
of  those  killed  and  wounded  in  the  Giles  company  seems  not 
to  have  been  preserved.  A  partial  list  of  those  killed  and 
wounded  in  the  Mercer  company  shows  that  Lieutenant  Bal- 
lard P.  French  was  slain,  and  that  Captain  H.  Scott  and  Pri- 
vate John  Coeburn  were  wounded.  In  front  of  Kemper's  brig- 
ade fell  mortally  wounded  Colonel  Fletcher  Webster  of  Massa- 
chusetts, the  only  son  of  Daniel  Webster. 

General  Lee's  skillful  tactics  compelled  the  enemy  to  fight  at  a 
disadvantage,  and  yet  it  was  among  the  most  fiercely  contested 
open  field  battles  of  the  war,  and  in  scarce  no  other  did  the  Con- 
federates acquit  tliemselves  with  more  honor.  They  had  beat- 
en an  enemy  superior  to  them  in  numbers  and  equipment,  in- 
flicting upon  him  heavy  loss  of  men  and  guns. 

With  Longstreet's  division,  Kemper's  brigade  occupied  the 
field  the  next  day  and  buried  the  dead,  and  cared  for  the 
wounded  amid  a  heavy  rain  storm. 

Early  on  Monday  the  1st  day  of  September  the  division 
moved  across  Bull  Run  and  to  the  vicinity  of  Chantilly,  reach- 
ing there  at  night  and  in  the  midst  of  a  pelting  rain.  On  the 
3rd  it  moved  to  and  through  Leesburg  and  to  the  banks  of  the 
Potomac  at  White's  Ford,  where  it  encamped  on  the  night  of 
the  5th.  The  enemy  had  taken  shelter  within  his  entrench- 
ments in  and  around  Alexandria  and  Washington,  and  anoth- 
er ''On  to  Richmond"  had  come  to  grief. 

1861-1865  235 

At  Leesburg  all  the  men  who  were  sick,  broken  down,  bare- 
foot, lame  and  halt,  were  allowed  to  remain,  and  there  were 
not  a  few  of  them,  whose  services  were  so  sorely  needed  beyond 
the  Potomac  a  few  days  later.  A  little  after  sunrise  on  Satur- 
day, the  6th  day  of  September,  1862,  Kemper's  brigade  crossed 
the  Potomac  and  made  its  footprint  on  the  sacred  soil  of  Mary- 
land, my  Maryland,  and  as  the  men  wended  their  way  across 
the  Potomac,  some  one  remembering  Randall's  soulstirring  and 
patriotic  poem,  began  to  sing: — 

"The  despot's  heel  is  on  thy  shore, 

Maryland,  my  Maryland, 
His  torch  is  on  thy  temple  door, 

Maryland,  my  Maryland, 
Avenge  the  patriotic  gore, 
That  flecked  the  streets  of  Baltimore, 
And  be  the  battle  queen  of  yore, 

Maryland,  my  Maryland." 

Thousands  of  voices  joined  in  the  song,  while  a  bugler  on 
the  Northern  bank  took  up  and  made  the  welkin  ring,  which 
was  answered  by  long  and  gladsome  shouts  by  the  men.  Halt- 
ing that  night  and  camping  a  few  miles  out  from  the  river; 
reaching  the  Monocacy  River  next  day  where  it  is  spanned  by 
the  Baltimore  &  Ohio  Railroad  bridge,  where  the  command 
spent  two  or  three  days  in  resting  and  recuperating.  The  men 
were  in  light  marching  order,  having  learned  to  burden  them- 
selves with  as  little  as  possible;  a  cloth  haversack,  canteen  and 
blanket  were  the  sum  total  of  a  soldier's  luggage  at  this  period 
of  the  war.  They  had  no  change  of  clothing  as  a  rule;  a  grey 
cap,  jacket,  pants,  and  colored  shirt,  made  up  about  all  the 
clothing  he  had,  and  when  he  thought  he  would  like  to  have  a 
clean  shirt,  he  took  off  the  soiled  one,  went  to  the  water  and, 
generally  without  soap,  gave  it  a  rubbing,  hung  it  out  in  the 
sun,  hunted  a  shade  and  waited  for  the  garment  to  dry  suffi- 
ciently to  put  it  on  again.  As  for  rations,  especially  on  this 
campaign,  if  he  could  get  a  little  green  corn  and  fresh  beef  he 
counted  himself  fairly  w^ell  provided  for;  enough  to  march  and 
fight  on.  He  preferred  a  pair  of  shoes  if  he  could  get  them  and 
if  he  could  not,  he,  like  many  on  this  campaign,  marched  bare- 

236  New  River  Settlements 

foot,  and  complained  but  little  if  it  was  light  enough  for  him 
to  see  where  to  place  his  feet. 

Remaining  at  the  Monocacy  some  three  or  four  days,  the 
command  turned  its  face  westward,  passing  through  Freder- 
ick, Middletown,  and  Boonsboro  to  Hagerstown.  It  had  be- 
come the  custom  for  each  regiment  to  have  inscribed  upon  its 
flag  the  various  battles  in  which  it  had  been  engaged.  At  that 
time  the  7th  Virginia  regiment  had  inscribed  on  its  flag  among 
the  names  of  battles,  tliat  of  Seven  Pines,  and  as  the  regiment 
marched  through  Frederick  a  lady  among  a  considerable  group 
catching  sight  of  the  words  Seven  Pines  on  the  flag  proposed, 
"Three  cheers  for  the  battle  flag  of  Seven  Pines,"  which  were 
given  with  a  hearty  good  will,  and  thereupon  the  regiment  be- 
gan to  sing: — 

Oh!  have  you  heard  the  joyful  news 
Virginia  does  Old  Abe  refuse, 

Hurrah!   Hurrah!   Hurrah! 
Virginia  joins  the  cotton  states, 

Hurrah!   Hurrah!   Hurrah! 
The  glorious  cry  each  heart  elates, 

We'll   live  and   die  for  Dixie." 

Longstreet's  division  reached  Hagerstown  on  the  12tli  and 
went  into  camp  on  the  southwest  side  of  the  town,  where  it 
remained  until  Sunday,  the  14th  as  hereinafter  related.  Gen- 
eral D.  H.  Hill's  division  had  been  left  to  guard  tlie  passes 
through  South  Mountain,  while  General  Jackson  had  led 
his  troops  for  the  reduction  and  capture  of  the  Federal  garri- 
son at  Harper's  Ferry.  On  the  march  of  Kemper's  brigade 
from  Frederick  through  Middletown,  it  met  with  few  smiles  if 
any,  but  on  the  other  hand  strong  exhibitions  of  Union  feeling 
and  sentiment,  especially  from  the  females,  who  seemed  intent 
on  saying  bad  things  and  in  having  the  last  word.  The  men 
took  it  in  good  part,  said  funny  things  to  them  and  sung  for 
them  a  part  of  the  words  of  the  beautiful  southern  poem  : — (1) 

(1).  The  above  arrangement  of  lines  is  a  fac-simile  of  the  original 
manuscript;  and  while  incorrect,  from  the  standpoint  of  arrangement, 
it  is  followed,  as  a  matter  of  interest.    The  song  is  given  line-for-line. 

1861-1865  237 

"We  are  a  band  of  brothers  and  native  to 
The  soil, 

Fighting  for  the  property  we've  gained  by- 
Honest  toil, 

And  when  our  rights  were  threatened  the 
Cry  rose  near  and  far, 

Hurrah!  for  the  bonny  blue  flag  that  bears 
The  single  star, 

Hurrah!    Hurrah!    For  the  southern  rights 

Hurrah!  for  the  bonny  blue  flag  that  bears 
The  single  star. 

As  long  as  the  Union  was  faithful 

To  her  trust. 
Like  friends  and  like  brothers,  kind 

Were  we  and  just. 
But  now  when  northern  treachery 

Attempts  our  rights  to  mar. 
We  hoist  on  high  the  bonny  flag  that 

Bears  the  single  star. 

Then  here's  to  our  Confederacy — strong  are 

We  and  brave; 
Like  patriots  of  old  we  fight  our  heritage 

To  save; 
And  rather  than  submit  to  shame,  to 

Die  we  would  prefer. 
So  cheer  for  the  bonnie  blue  flag  that 

Bears  the  single  star." 

In  Hagerstown  more  signs  of  the  southern  sentiment  were 
visible,  even  displayed, — for  a  young  girl  about  fourteen  stand- 
ing on  the  top  of  a  gate  post  as  the  brigade  passed,  cried  out, 
"Three  cheers  for  Jeff  Davis,  why  may  not  he  be  honored?" 

On  Sunday  the  14th  about  11  o'clock,  A.  M.,  the  long  roll 
sounded  and  the  men  of  Longstreet  were  quickly  in  line,  and 
with  faces  turned  eastward  marched  at  a  quickstep  towards 
Boonsboro  about  14  miles  away.  The  roads  were  cleared  of 
everything  that  would  in  any  way  delay  the  march,  which  was 
quickened  by  the  continuous  roar  of  guns  east  of  or  about 
Boonsboro  Gap,  where  as  was  understood  General  D.  H.  Hill's 
division  was  closely  engaged  with  the  main  portion  of  the  Fed- 
eral army,  now  under  the  command  of  General  McClellan,  who 
was  gradually  pressing  the  Confederates  back  to  the  Mountain 
top.  Longstreet's  division,  except  one  brigade  left  by  him  at 
Hagerstown,  was  pressing  forward  with  all  speed  to  the  relief 

238  New  River  Settlements 

of  General  Hill's  command.  It  was  near  3  o'clock,  P.  M.,  when 
Kemper's  brigade  reached  the  foot  of  the  mountain  east  of 
Boonsboro.  Turning  to  the  right  at  the  western  base  of  the 
mounain,  it  was  conducted  to  a  point  about  half  way  up  the 
mountain  side  in  the  direction  of  a  gap,  and  thence  to  the  left 
into  the  main  gap  through  which  the  great  highway  passes. 
While  being  conducted  from  this  gap  up  and  along  an  arm  of 
the  mountain  to  the  left,  the  movement  was  discovered  by  a 
Federal  battery  to  the  right  rear,  which  at  once  opened  fire 
throwing  shot  and  shell  into  the  ranks,  one  of  which  struck  the 
head  of  the  leading  company  of  the  7th  regiment,  killing  one 
man  instantly.  To  dodge  at  the  sound  of  a  cannon  shot,  the 
whistling  or  singing  of  a  minnie  ball,  was  altogether  natural 
with  a  soldier,  no  matter  how  strong  and  brave  he  might  be  and 
was  no  indication  of  cowardice.  Dodging  was  one  of  the  weak- 
nesses of  John  Meadows,  of  Company  D,  7th  regiment.  John 
would  always  dodge,  but  wouldn't  run ;  so  on  this  occasion  John 
began  to  dodge,  which  happened  to  be  observed  by  John  Craw- 
ford of  the  same  company,  who  called  out  to  Meadows,  "What 
the  devil  is  use  of  dodging  now,  the  ball  has  gone  by,  the  first 
thing  you  know  you  will  dodge  in  the  way  of  a  ball."  The  brig- 
ade hastened  its  steps  to  the  mountain  top,  on  reaching  which 
it  found  itself  face  to  face  with  the  enemy. 

Before  describing  the  fight  which  ensued,  a  statement  as  to 
the  situation  and  relative  position  of  the  Confederates  at  and 
near  the  place  occupied  by  Kemper's  brigade  is  necessary  to  a 
clear  understanding  of  what  had  and  was  about  to  take  place. 
Colquitt's  Georgia  brigade  was  occupying  a  line  on  both  sides 
the  turnpike  road  and  perpendicular  thereto,  and  from  which 
the  enemy  had  been  unable  to  dislodge  it.  Rode's  Alabama 
brigade,  supported  by  that  of  Evans,  of  South  Carolina,  held 
the  extreme  Confederate  left,  and  by  whom  a  most  gallant  and 
unqualed  struggle  had  been  maintained  for  several  hours,  until 
the  enemy  by  overpowering  force  of  numbers  had  about  sue 
ceeded  in  crowning  the  mountain,  when  Kemper's  brigade  ar- 
rived on  the  field  of  contention.     General  Pickett's  brigade, 

1861-1865  239 

now  commanded  by  General  Garnett,  was  thrown  forward  and 
posted  on  the  left  of  Colquitt's  brigade;  and  Kemper's  brigade 
across  the  old  road  to  fill  the  gap  or  space  between  the  right 
of  Evans  and  left  of  Pickett.  These  two  brigades  numbering 
not  more  than  eight  hundred  men,  and  against  whom  was  pit- 
ted not  less  than  5,000  Federals,  bravely  held  their  ground  un- 
til long  after  nightfall,  withdrawing  from  their  position  with- 
out molestation.  The  ranks  of  Kemper's  brigade  had  been 
greatly  depleted  by  sickness,  the  battles  around  Richmond, 
Second  Manassas,  and  the  barefoot,  sick,  lame  men  left  at  Lees- 
burg,  and  broken  down  men  on  the  rapid  march  made  from  Ha- 
gerstown  to  Boonsboro ;  so  that  the  five  little  regiments  of  his 
brigade  that  reached  the  firing  line  on  the  evening  of  Septem- 
ber 14th,  1862,  could  not  have  exceeded  in  the  aggregate  500 
men  rank  and  file. 

The  17th  Virginia  regiment  occupied  the  right  of  the  brig- 
ade, then  11th,  7th,  1st,  and  24th  regiments  in  the  order  named. 
It  was  near  the  hour  of  4  :30  o'clock,  P.  M.,  when  the  brigade  of 
General  Kemper  reached  the  crest  of  the  mountain,  and  as 
stated  met  the  enemy  face  to  face,  only  a  short  distance  away 
and  seemingly  intent  on  crowning  the  mountain  if  possible. 
Here  for  more  than  an  hour  and  thirty  minutes,  the  battle 
raged  fiercely,  the  enemy  at  some  points  reaching  almost  up  to 
the  points  of  the  Confederate  bayonets.  On  the  southeast  side 
of  the  county  road  referred  to  were  the  17th  and  11th  regi- 
ments, and  partly  in  their  front  was  a  small  field  in  which  was 
a  growing  crop  of  corn,  through  which,  a  little  after  dark,  the 
enemy  came  up  almost  to  the  muzzles  of  the  guns  of  the  regi- 
ments referred  to,  when  some  one  cried  out  "There  they  are, 
men ;  fire  on  them !"  The  fire  from  the  guns  of  the  combatants 
was  so  near  each  other  that  it  appeared  to  intermingle.  It  was 
at  or  about  this  time  that  Major  John  W.  Daniel,  Adjutant  of 
the  11th  regiment,  now  United  States  Senator  from  Virginia, 
received  a  ball  in  one  of  his  hands.  The  enemy  finding  the 
ground  so  firmly  held  against  them,  a  little  after  dark  desisted, 
leaving  the  Confederates  in  possession  of  this  part  of  the  field, 

240  New  River  Settlements 

from  which  in  about  one  hour  later  they  very  quietly  departed, 
taking  with  them  such  of  the  wounded  as  were  able  to  be  re- 
moved without  stretchers. 

Since  the  reports  can  be  had  of  the  strength  of  the  Federal 
troops  pitted  against  Garnett's  and  Kemper's  brigades,  on  the 
evening  of  the  14th  of  September,  it  can  now  be  stated  that  Gen- 
eral Hatch's  division  of  3500  men,  reinforced  by  Christian's 
brigade  of  1500,  which  was  put  into  the  fight,  were  unable  to 
drive  these  two  small  brigades  from  their  position,  and  this 
should  be  glory  enough  for  these  men,  tired,  broken  down,  foot- 
sore, half  naked  and  starved.  It  is  stated  upon  authority  that 
in  this  battle  the  Federals  had  about  30,000  men,  the  Confed- 
erates about  9,000. 

Want  of  official  or  other  data  prevents  the  statement  of  loses 
sustained  by  Kemper's  brigade  in  this  battle,  except  as  to  a 
single  company,  D,  of  the  7th  Virginia,  which  company  carried 
21  men  into  the  battle  and  lost  T.  P.  Mays  and  James  Cole,  kill- 
ed, and  George  Knoll  and  John  R.  Crawford  wounded;  a  pro- 
portionate loss  throughout  the  companies  of  the  brigade  would 
indicate  a  loss  of  28  in  the  7th  regiment  and  of  100  in  the  brig- 
ade, and  may  be  set  down  as  not  far  short  of  this  number.  Col- 
or Sergeant  Mays  died  with  his  flag  clutched  in  his  hands. 

The  command  passed  quietly  down  to  the  turnpike  and 
through  Boonsboro  and  the  little  village  of  Keedysville,  cross- 
ing the  Antietam  and  reaching  Sharpsburg  the  morning  of  the 
next  day,  Monday  the  15th,  about  11  o'clock,  A.  M,  Filing  to 
the  left,  Kemper's  brigade  took  position  behind  the  range  of 
hills  between  the  road  leading  from  the  town  to  Harper's  Fer- 
ry and  the  Antietam,  where  it  remained  in  the  afternoon  and 
night  of  Monday.  Being  out  of  rations,  nothing,  however,  un- 
usual. Sergeant  Taylor  of  D  company  of  tlie  7th  regiment  with 
a  detail  was  sent  in  quest  of  the  much  needed  food,  which  he 
did  not  succeed  in  getting  to  the  regiment  when  the  battle 
opened  on  Wednesday,  though  he  had  secured  a  quantity  of  beef 
and  had  it  cooking  in  one  of  the  houses  in  the  town  when  the 

1861-1865  241 

battle  began,  but  did  not  make  delivery  to  the  men  until  after 
night  put  a  stop  to  the  contest. 

Nothing  of  importance  transpired  during  Monday  evening 
beyond  a  partial  artillery  duel  and  some  skirmishing  with  the 
rear  guard.  The  artillery  opened  early  on  Tuesday  morning, 
and  as  Kemper's  brigade  with  others  were  shifted  from  place 
to  place  along  the  line,  it  was  exposed  to  the  shot  from 
the  enemy's  guns  across  the  Antietam.  Later  in  the  eve- 
ning the  fire  far  to  the  left  seemed  to  increase,  which,  however, 
ceased  when  night  came.  On  this  day  and  prepared  for  the 
morrow's  fray,  Kemper  could  not  muster  in  his  brigade  but 
few  more  than  400  muskets.  The  17th  Virginia  regiment  num- 
bered but  55  officers  and  men,  the  7th  regiment  117,  the  1st 
regiment  was  less  than  a  half  size  company,  the  24th  regiment 
not  exceeding  150  men  and  11th  regiment  scarcely  more  than 
100  men.  On  Kemper's  left  was  Drayton's  small  brigade  of 
three  regiments,  one  South  Carolina  and  two  Georgia.  To  the 
left  of  Drayton  was  Garnett's  brigade  reduced  to  a  mere  skele- 
ton, and  beyond  Garnett,  and  with  its  left  resting  on  the  turn- 
pike road,  was  Jenkins'  South  Carolina  brigade,  likewise  much 

General  D.  R.  Jones  was  in  command  of  the  division  com- 
posed of  the  brigades  mentioned,  together  with  General 
Toombs'  brigade  of  four  small  Georgia  regiments  and  a  Georgia 
battalion,  numbering  in  all,  about  600  men,  which  together 
with  the  other  brigades  could  not  have  given  General  Jones  an 
aggregate  of  over  2,000  men  to  defend  a  line  fully  a  mile  in  ex- 
tent, and  threatened  with  a  column  of  quite  15,000  of  the  enemy. 
General  Toombs  had  been  sent  to  defend  a  bridge  over  the  An- 
tietam, and  to  prevent  the  enemy's  crossing  at  that  point.  He 
had  with  him  two  small  Georgia  regiments  and  some  artillery 
with  which  he  held  the  bridge  for  several  hours  on  the  17th,  and 
only  withdrew  after  inflicting  heavy  loss  upon  his  assailants, 
and  they  had  found  a  ford  which  enabled  them  to  flank  his  posi- 

Before  daylight  on  the  morning  of  Wednesday  the  17th,  the 

242  New  River  Settlements 

artillery  opened  raijidly  on  the  Confederate  leit,  and  very  soon 
thereafter  the  crash  of  small  arms  began,  and  the  battle  on 
that  part  of  the  field  raged  with  intense  fury  for  hours,  and  rap- 
idly extended  towards  the  Confederate  center  and  right.    Near 
or  a  little  past  noon,  the  24th  Virginia  regiment  was  detached 
and  sent  some  eight  hundred  or  a  thousand  yards  to  and  be- 
yond the  Confederate  right,  to  keep  watch  in  the  direction  of 
some  of  tlie  fords  of  the  Antietam.     A  short  while  after  this  regi- 
ment was  detached,  the  7th  Virginia  under  Capt.  Philip  Ashby 
was  sent  to  a  point  from  five  hundred  to  six  hundred  yards  to 
the  right  of  the  position  it  had  been  occupying  in  brigade  line, 
leaving  General  Kemper  with  three  small  regiments,  1st,  llth^ 
and  17th  Virginia  numbering  not  exceeding  two  hundred  men. 
Skirmishers  from  the  brigade  had  been  thrown  forward  a  few 
hundred  yards,  and  had  taken  shelter  behind  a  stone  fence  in 
part  and  behind  a  board  fence,  at  the  base  of  the  hill  occupied 
by  the  brigade.    Upon  the  retirement  of  the  regiments  of  Gen- 
eral Toombs  from  the  bridge,  the  enemy  under  the  command 
of  General  Burnside  pushed  over  the  creek,  and  after  some  de- 
lay deployed  in  line  of  battle.    The  creek  was  not  large  and 
contained  but  little  water,  and  might  have  been  crossed  at  any 
point  tlie  enemy  might  have  chosen,  except  at  the  bridge  de- 
fended by  General  Toombs.    They  seemed  anxious  to  secure  the 
bridge  and  they  did  after  several  hours  bloody  battle,  and  the 
loss  of  more  than  300  men  killed  and  wounded,  and  this  only 
after  they  had  flanked  the  position.    About  three  o'clock,  P.  M., 
the  columns  of  General  Burnside's  9th  Federal  army  corps,  cov- 
ering its  front  with  a  cloud  of  skirmishers,  advanced  to  the  at- 
tack.   The  skirmishers  were  quickly  repelled  by  those  of  the  Con- 
federates lying  behind  the  fences  described.   The  Federal  brigade 
that  first  came  to  the  relief  of  their  skirmish  line,  came  near 
sharing  a  like  fate;  and  this  too  from  the  Confederate  skirm- 
ish line  alone  supported  by  a  few  pieces  of  artillery.     There 
quickly  came  however  other  battle  lines  to  the  help  of  their 
friends,  which  by  their  very  momentum,  if  nothing  else,  enabled 
them  to  bodily  rush  over  the  Confederate  skirmish  line,  but 

18G1-1865  243 

few  escaping,  and  crowning  the  heights.  Their  seeming  vic- 
tory was  short  lived,  and  was  soon  turned  into  a  signal  repulse 
and  defeat.  Generl  Burnside's  long  sweeping  lines  advancing 
up  the  hill  overlaped  the  right  of  Kemper's  three  little  regi- 
ments by  several  hundred  yards,  brushing  tliem  away  and  cap- 
turing Mcintosh's  South  Carolina  battery  before  it  had  fired  a 
shot.  Just  then  General  Toombs  with  his  small  brigade  that 
moment  arrived  from  the  bridge,  threw  his  men  on  the  Federal 
flank,  and  together  with  Kemper's  handful,  Drayton's,  Gar- 
nett's  and  Jenkins'  brigade  renewed  the  fight  with  vigor  with 
the  Federal  corps.  Doubtless  overpowering  numbers  would 
have  soon  won  but  for  the  good  fortune  of  the  Confederates  in 
this  unequal  contest;  General  A.  P.  Hill's  division,  which  had 
left  Harper's  Ferry  that  morning,  having  marched  17  miles, 
reached  tlie  field  of  contention  at  the  opportune  moment.  Gen. 
Hill  took  in  the  situation  at  a  glance,  and  threw  upon  the  flank 
of  the  enemy's  column  of  attack  three  of  his  brigades,  Archer's 
Branch's  and  Gregg's,  and  in  less  than  thirty  minutes.  Burn- 
side's  whole  corps  was  in  full  retreat  towards  the  Antietam. 

The  24th  Virginia  regiment  was  not  engaged,  but  suffered 
some  loss,  however,  from  the  severe  shelling  to  which  it  was  sub- 
jected, while  the  7th  regiment  was  but  slightly  engaged,  losing 
some  men  in  killed  and  wounded.  The  three  small  regiments, 
viz :  1st,  11th  and  17th  regiments,  especially  the  latter  suffered 
severely  in  killed  and  wounded.  Company  D  of  the  7th  regi- 
ment had  but  15  men  in  the  action,  and  lost  Isaac  Hare,  slightly 
wounded,  and  John  S.  Dudley  captured  on  the  skirmish  line. 

General  Jones  reports  the  strength  of  his  division  in  this 
battle  at  2430  men,  far  too  high,  and  General  A.  P.  Hill  re- 
ports that  he  carried  into  action  2,000  men ;  making  4430  men, 
against  whom  came  Burnside's  Federal  corps  of  eight  brigades 
of  infantry  numbering  near  15,000  men,  with  seven  batteries  of 
field  artillery,  besides  three  companies  of  cavalry.  The  loss  in 
Jones'  division  was  178  killed,  979  wounded,  and  272  missing; 
total  1435.  Hill's  loss  was  63  killed,  283  wounded :  total  346. 
Aggregate  loss  of  Jones'  and  Hill's  divisions  1781 ;  Burnside's 

244  New  River  Settlements 

loss  was  2349.  Brigadier  General  Branch,  of  Hill's  command,, 
was  killed  and  General  Gregg  wounded.  In  Jones'  division 
General  Toombs  was  wounded. 

In  front  of  Kemper's  brigade,  and  on  and  over  the  ground 
over  which  it  fought,  lay  35  men  of  the  8th  Connecticut  regi- 
ment dead  and  mortally  wounded.  The  loss  in  Kemper's  brig- 
ade was  144.  At  the  close  of  the  contest,  the  7th  and  24th  regi- 
ments returned  to  the  brigade,  which  occupied  that  night  and 
the  next  day  the  same  position  it  had  occupied  at  the  beginning 
of  the  battle  that  morning. 

The  18th  was  spent  in  gathering  up  and  caring  for  the 
wounded,  burying  the  dead,  Confederate  and  Federal.  That 
night  the  Confederates  quietly  marched  away,  and  crossed  to 
the  south  side  of  the  Potomac.  Kemper's  brigade  going  into 
bivouac  about  four  miles  from  the  river ;  a  few  days  thereafter 
removing  to  a  large  spring  near  Bunker's  Hill.  Here  quite  a 
number  of  additions  were  made,  not  only  to  the  brigade,  but 
to  the  whole  army  from  the  lame,  sick,  and  shoeless  men  left 
at  Leesburg.  The  battle  of  Sharpsburg  may  be  said  to  have 
been  gratuitous  on  the  part  of  the  Confederates,  for  they  had 
ample  time  and  opportunity  after  the  fall  of  Harper's  Ferry 
on  Monday  morning  to  have  retired  to  the  Virginia  side,  and 
there  the  better  prepared  to  fight  a  successful  battle.  During 
the  15th  day  of  September,  General  Lee  did  not  have  with  him 
at  Sharpsburg  more  than  12,000  men,  though  by  his  maneu- 
vering and  shifting  his  men  from  place  to  place,  he  convinced 
the  Federal  General  that  he  had  a  vast  army  ready  for  the 

The  Federal  General  McClellen  in  his  official  report  states 
that  he  put  87,500  men  into  the  battle  of  Wednesday ;  and  it  is 
more  than  doubtful  if  the  Confederate  army  in  this  battle  ex- 
ceeded more  than  33,000  men.  It  has  been  truly  said  that  this 
was  the  bloodiest  one  day's  battle  of  the  war ;  and  in  none  did 
Southern  individuality  and  self  reliance,  noted  characteristics 
of  the  Confederate  soldier,  shine  more  brilliantly,  or  perform 
a  more  important  part. 

1861-1865  245 

After  the  close  of  the  battle,  and  on  the  night  of  the  18th, 
the  cries  of  distress  of  a  wounded  Connecticut  soldier  lying  in 
the  forty-acre  cornfield,  were  heard  by  J.  M.  Norton.,  a  Georgia 
soldier  belonging  to  Toombs'  brigade  and  he  determined  to 
reach  and  relieve  the  sufferer,  if  possible.  Taking  his  canteen 
filled  with  water,  he  crept  and  crawled  to  the  spot  from  whence 
came  the  cries,  and  found  Mr.  B.  L.  Burr,  a  badly  wounded  Fed- 
eral soldier  famishing — dying  for  water.  He  supplied  him  with 
a  canteen  of  water,  and  then  made  his  way  safely  back  to  his 
regiment.  Subsequently,  the  following  poem  written  by  A.  W. 
Burkhardt,  which  is  here  inserted,  was  suggested  by  the  read- 
ing of  this  incident. 


On  Maryland's   soil,   by  Antietam's   clear   stream, 
There  was  a  clashing  of  sabres  and  bayonet-gleam, 
And  booming  of  cannon  and  shrieking  of  shell. 
While  the  Angel  of  death  plied  the  engines  of  Hell, 

Two  vast  armies  met  there,  in  stern  battle  array, 
And  Antietam  ran  crimsoned  with  blood  on  that  day; 
"While  death-dealing  bullets  were  falling  like  hail. 
And  the  fate  of  a  nation  hung  poised  in  the  scale. 

In  far-away  homes  many  loved  one  shall  weep. 
On  that  red  gory  field  many  v/arriors  shall  sleep; 
The  mother  shall  watch,  but  her  waiting  is  vain, 
Her  brave  soldier  boy  shall  return  not  again. 

The  wife,  so  devoted,  so  loyal  and  true. 

Has  given  her  loved  one  a  last  long  adieu; 

And  now,  when  the  sun  shall  sink  low  in  the  west, 

A  fatherless  babe  she  will  clasp  to  her  breast. 

The  fair  maiden  betrothed,  and  dreaming  of  bliss, 
While  on  her  lips  lingers  her  lover's  last  kiss, 
The  fond  hope  of  her  heart  no  more  shall  behold. 
He  lies  at  Antietam,  all  lifeless  and  cold. 

The  bright  morning  sun  will  rise  in  the  sky, 

And  look  on  the  scene  with  a  pitying  eye. 

And  weep  for  the  loved  ones,  all  bleeding  and  torn, 

Sad,  wounded,  forsaken,  and  dying  forlorn. 

Earth  quenches  it's  thirst  with  the  blood  of  the  slain. 
While  the  cyclone  of  death  sweeps  over  the  plain; 
And  the  war  Demons  dance  in  the  moon's  misty  light, 
And  mockingly  laugh,  as  each  soul  takes  its  flight. 

246  New  River  Settlements 

Oh,  bloody  Antietam!   oh,  death  dealing  day! 
When  the  North  and  the  South  met  in  battle  array 
On  the  banks  of  thy  stream — in  the  gloom  of  thy  shade, 
Where  widows  and  orphans  by  thousands  were  made. 

As  line  after  line,  with  a  firm,  steady  tread, 
O'er  the  gory  field  charged  over  wounded  and  dead. 
Through  the  smoke  of  the  battle,  and  its  sulphurous  breath, 
Pressed  onward — still  on — to  the  harvest  of  death. 

The  "Bridge"  Is  now  taken — though  fearful  the  loss, 
And  Burnside  advances  his   columns  across; 
As  forward  and  backward  the  battle  tide  flows, 
A  part  of  the  field  is  abandoned  to  foes. 

As  the  smoke  of  the  conflict  -lifts  over  the  scene 
Where  the  day's  bloody  struggle  the  hottest  has  been, 
And  the  red,  gory  field  lies  thickest — o'er  spread 
With  the  wounded,  and  mangled,  the  dying  and  dead, 

'Twas  here,  lying  helpless,  at  ebb  of  the  tide, 

A  soldier  was  left,  on  the  fearful  divide, 

'Twixt  the  camps  of  the  fcemen  where  battle  raged  hot 

And  the  sharp  shooter's  rifle  commanded  each  spot. 

The  day's  work  was  done,  and  the  din  of  the  fight 
Gave  place  to  the  darkness  and  gloom  of  the  night; 
The  pickets  were  ordered  strict  vigils  to  keep. 
While  the  weary  combatants  attempted  to  sleep. 

But  alas  for  the  wounded! — deserted,  alone. 
Their  couch  the  red  field,  and  their  pillow  a  stone! 
No  "touch  of  the  elbow,"  no  kind  "comrade"  near 
To  inspire  them  with  courage,  or  speak  words  of  cheer. 

All  bleeding  he  lay,  'mid  the  dying  and  dead. 
While  the  earth  echoed  back  to  the  sentinels'  tread; 
And  the  grief  burdened  air  gave  vent  to  a  groan, 
As  upward  it  wafted  some  comrade's  last  moan. 

He  thought  of  his  home,  of  his  friends  far  away. 
As  through  the  long  night  he  awaited  the  day. 
At  length  the  sun  rose,  but  to  add  to  his  grief. 
No  kind,  friendly  hand  came  to  give  him  relief. 

Thus  forty  long  hours,  all  helpless  he  lay; 
Day  gave  place  to  night,  and  night  changed  into  day! 
With  his  life  current  ebbing — while  weaker  each  breath, 
He  sighed  but  for  "Water!"— for  water  or  death. 

The  thirst  of  the  wounded^ — not  pencil  nor  pen 
Can  portray  half  its  horrors;  nor  language  of  men; 
It's  pangs  may  be  felt  but  no  tongue  can  tell, 
'Tis  the  acme  of  misery! — quintessence  of  Hell! 

For  "Water!"— Oh  Water!"— for  Water  the  cry- 
While  Antietam,  her  current  rolls  mockingly  by. 
There  faint  and  exhausted,  in  hopeless  despair. 
He  sniffs  the  foul  stench  of  the  war-burdened  air! 

1861-1865  247 

at  a  glorious  vision  his  eyes  now  behold!  — 
■'reasure,  more  precious  than  silver,  or  gold, 
^^rinks  at  the  fountain! — he  bathes  in  the  stream! 
^iwakens — Alas! — it  was  only  a  dream! 

Bu  picket,  a  "Johnnie  in  Gray,"  it  is  true, 

Heg  the  cry  of  distress  from  the  "Yankee  in  Blue," 

-^^m  enmity  vanished  his  soldierly  heart 

■A-8  1  quickly  resolved  kind  aid  to  impart. 

But  igive  the  relief,  he  must  creep  'mong  the  dead 
Throi-i  the  down  trodden  corn,  where  the  earth  was  still  red, 
Full  closed  to  the  sharpshooter's  deadly  aim. 
On  hi&iission  of  mercy — he  went  and  he  came! 

Soon  tlgiue  and  the  Gray,  whilom  enemies,  met; 

From  tJ  "Johnnie's"  canteen,  the  "Yank's"  lips  were  made  wet, 

And  as  iQdness  and  gratitude  readily  blends, 

Two  heag  were  made  happy,  two  foes  became  friends; 

And  the  ;gei  of  mercy  looked  down  from  above 
With  a  piing  eye,  while  a  tear  drop  of  love 
Cemented  le  friendship  begun  on  that  day, 
Where  "Yakee"  and  "Reb"  fought  in  hostile  array. 

Of  all  the  bvve  deeds,  on  that  battlefield  done. 
None  exceetd  in  bravery  and  kindness  that  one; 
And  from  tit  day  to  this  no  friends  were  more  true 
Than  the  "Jennie  in  Gray"  and  the  "Yankee  in  Blue." 

General  IV^ciellan's  army  began  croseing  the  Potomac  east 
of  the  Blue  lidge  and  at  Harper's  Ferry  in  the  last  days  of 
October,  whia  impelled  General  Lee  to  move  to  Culpeper, 
where  he  cont^ntrated  the  major  part  of  his  army  about  the 
first  day  of  Nt^ember. 

While  at  Cuoeper  in  the  early  days  of  November,  Pickett's 
division  was  oganized,  and  composed  of  the  following  Vir- 
ginia regiments  viz : 

1st  brigade ; 
Brigidier  General  James  L.  Kemper 
Regiments :     1st,  8rd,  7th  11th,  and  24th  Virginia, 

2nd  brigade : 

Brigidier  General  R.  B.  Garnett 

Regiments :      8ih,  18th,  19th,  28th,  and  56th  Virginia 

3rd  brigade 

Brigadier  General  Lewis  A.  Armistead 

Regiments :      9th,  14th,  38th,  53rd,  and  57th  Virginia 

248  New  River  Settlements 

4  th  brigade 
Brigadier  General  Montgomery  D.  Corse 
Regiments :      15th,  17th,  29th,  30th,  and  32nd  Virginia 
And  Jenkins'  South  Carolina  brigade.     To  the  division  was^" 
tached  Major  James  Bearing's  battalion  of  artillery,  and  <S" 
key's,  Stribling's  and  Latham's  batteries.  / 

In  the  last  days  of  November  the  division  marched  fronr-^^^" 
peper  over  the  Orange  plank  road  to  the  hills  overl(*^iiig 
Fredericksburg,  where  on  the  11th  of  December  it  was  ailed 
to  arms  to  resist  the  enemy  reported  as  crossing  or  th*3,ten- 
ing  to  cross  the  Rappahannock.  The  division  stood  to  al^^  ^^" 
til  early  on  the  morning  of  the  13th,  when  it  was  marc^d  to  a 
position  in  the  Confederate  battle  line  on  the  right  filter  of 
Longstreet's  corps,  where  it  remained  until  about  1  olock,  P. 
M.,  when  Kemper's  and  Jenkins'  brigades  were  maihed  rap- 
idly to  the  relief  of  the  Confederates  holding  Mayre'fHill,  and 
who  were  being  sorely  pressed.    The  brigade  of  Ken^er  moved 
forward  into  the  line  about  dark,  taking  the  placi  of  Cobb's 
Georgians  and  Cook's  North  Carolinians;  remaijng  during 
the  night  of  the  13th,  the  day  and  night  of  the  llth^ngaged  for 
most  of  the  time  in  brisk  skirmishing  with  the  enmy,  who  de- 
camped and  crossed  the  river  on  the  night  of  t^  14th.    The 
loss  in  the  brigade  was  46,  of  which  there  were  fur  in  the  7th 
regiment,  and  seven  in  the  24th  regiment.    LewS  N.  Wiley  of 
company  D,  of  tlie  7th  was  wounded.     Anotlie]  "On  to  Rich- 
mond" movement  had  been  scotched.  / 

The  enemy  gone  and  the  present  danger  haing  passed,  the 
troops  retired  to  their  respective  camping  places  on  the  hills, 
south  of  Fredericksburg.  The  winter  was  severe,  the  men  were 
without  tents,  but  few  blankets  and  numbers  still  without 
shoes,  and  not  one  in  a  dozen  with  an  overoat,  therefore  poor- 
ly prepared  for  the  winter  blasts.  Necessily,  however,  compels 
man  to  resort  to  almost  any  expedient  tc  make  himself  com- 
fortable, and  the  men  erected  rude  wooden  shanties  out  of  tim- 
ber, placing  one  end  in  the  ground,  and  slanting  the  other  for- 

1861-1865  249 

ward  resting  on  poles  held  up  by  forks  or  against  trees,  and 
the  top  of  the  timber  or  slabs  covered  with  earth  to  the  depth 
of  several  inches.  In  front  they  built  their  fires;  some  rolling 
away  the  logs  that  had  been  burning  during  the  day,  made 
their  bed  on  the  warm  ground.  Rawhide  moccasins  were  sub- 
stituted for  shoes.  The  regiments  by  detachments  did  picket 
duty  off  the  river  beyond  Hamilton's  Crossing,  while  the  cav- 
alry watched  the  fords  of  the  upper  Rappahannock. 

During  that  long,  dreary,  cold  winter  while  in  the  bivouac 
amid  privation  and  suffering,  not  exceeded  by  that  of  Washing- 
ton's army  at  Valley  Forge,  the  men  freely  discussed  the  ques- 
tion touching  the  war,  its  conduct,  prospects  for  peace,  etc.  An 
ever  abiding  confidence  in  the  justice  of  our  cause,  and  the  be- 
lief in  its  final  triumph,  coupled  with  and  backed  by  invinci- 
ble, unconquerable  spirits  ever  ready  to  brave  the  storm  of 
battle,  caused  the  sufferings  and  hardships  to  be  treated  as 
trival  as  compared  with  the  great  issue  at  stake. 

On  January  20th  the  men  were  called  from  their  quarters 
and  marched  up  the  Rappahannock  in  the  direction  of  Bank's 
Ford,  where  it  was  reported  that  a  portion  of  the  Federal  army 
was  threatening  to  cross.  Remaining  out  one  night  in  the  rain, 
snow  and  mud,  returned  to  their  camps,  seeming  to  have 
marched  up  that  hill  for  no  other  purpose  than  to  march  down 

At  an  early  hour  on  the  morning  of  Monday,  February  16th, 
in  the  midst  of  snow,  sleet  and  storm,  Pickett's  division  took  up 
its  line  of  march  heading  towards  Richmond.  The  march  con- 
tinued to  within  about  eight  miles  of  that  city,  when  a  halt 
was  made  and  the  men  rested  for  a  few  days,  when  they  again 
marched,  moving  through  the  city  to  Chester  station,  on  the 
Richmond  &  Petersburg  Railroad.  Here  the  command  remain- 
ed until  about  the  1st  of  March,  when  it  removed  to  a  point 
about  two  miles  south  east  of  Petersburg,  where  it  remained  un- 
til March  25th,  then  was  placed  aboard  a  train  of  cars  and  pro- 
ceeded to  Weldon,  then  to  Goldsboro,  and  from  thence  to  Kins- 
ton,  North  Carolina.    Here  the  command  did  some  scouting  and 

250  New  River  Settlements 

picketing  on  tlie  roads  leading  to  Xewberne.  Leaving  Kinston 
on  April  9th  it  moved  by  rail  by  way  of  Goldsboro  to  Weldon, 
and  from  thence  marched  to  Suffolk,  Virginia,  reaching  tliere 
on  April  12th,  and  joining  the  Confederate  forces  of  General 
Longstreet,  then  investing  that  place.  It  was  from  a  train 
of  cars  on  this  journey  that  Manley  Reece,  of  the  Mercer 
company  of  the  24th  Virginia  regiment  was  knocked  from  the 
top  of  the  train  by  an  overhead  bridge  and  killed. 

The  principal  object  of  the  investment  of  the  town  of  Suf- 
folk, seems  to  have  been  to  keep  the  enemy  closely  confined 
within  his  lines  immediately  in  and  around  that  place  and  the 
city  of  Norfolk,  and  thus  enable  the  Confederate  Commissary 
Department  to  gather  all  available  supplies  for  the  army  from 
the  southeastern  counties  of  Virginia,  and  to  transport  them 
into  the  interior  for  the  use  of  our  army.  Beyond  some  severe 
skirmishes,  nothing  very  important  occurred  during  our  stay 
around  Suffolk.  General  Longstreet  quietly  withdrew  his 
forces  on  the  night  of  the  3rd  of  May,  and  marched  to  the  vi- 
cinity of  Chester  Station,  between  Petersburg  and  Richmond. 
On  our  way  from  Suffolk  to  Petersburg  we  heard  of  the  bat- 
tle of  Chancellorville,  the  woundeing  of  General  Jackson  and 
later  of  his  death.  The  command  remained  at  Chester  Station 
until  about  the  middle  of  May,  when  Pickett's  division  march- 
ed through  Richmond  to  Taylorsville  and  went  into  camp, 
where  it  remained  and  rested  until  tlie  last  of  the  month  or 
the  Ist  day  of  June,  when  it  marched  across  the  Pamunkey  into 
King  and  Queen  County,  returning  in  a  day  or  two  to  its  camp 
at  Taylorsville.  On  the  2nd  day  of  June  the  division  was  again 
in  motion  in  the  direction  of  Northern  Virginia,  and  the  move- 
ment continued  until  it  reached,  on  the  10th,  a  point  within 
about  eight  miles  of  Culpeper  Court  House,  where  it  went  into 
bivouac.  Here  had  assembled,  as  was  assembling,  a  large  part 
of  the  army  of  Gen.  Lee,  including  his  cavalry  corps  under  its 
matchless  leader.  General  J.  E.  B.  Stuart. 

The  passionate  ardor  of  our  people  for  their  country's  cause 
had  brought  to  the  army  nearly  every  man  that  was  able  to 

1861-1865  251 

perform  active  military  duty  in  the  field,  so  that  but  few  addi- 
tions to  the  ranks  could  be  hoped  for.  It  was  the  largest  num- 
ber of  men,  and  composed  of  the  best  fighting  material,  that 
General  Lee  had  yet,  in  fact  ever  led  to  battle.  Most  of  them 
were  men  well  inured  to  the  service,  and  therefore  well  pre- 
pared to  undergo  the  greatest  hardship ;  and  by  this  time  most 
of  the  cowards,  of  which  there  were  few,  had  either  gotten  out 
of  the  army  and  gone  home,  or  over  to  the  enemy.  As  General 
Lee,  at  the  head  of  this  magnificent  body  of  men,  was  passing 
through  Clark  County,  in  the  Valley  of  Virginia,  he  dined  with 
Dr.  McGuire,  and  after  dinner  on  mounting  his  horse  and 
about  to  leave,  the  Doctor  remarked  to  him,  that  he  had  never 
before  felt  confidence  in  the  Southern  cause,  but  was  now  en- 
couraged as  he  saw  the  army  marching  north.  To  which  Gen- 
eral Lee  quietly  said,  "Doctor,  there  marches  the  finest  body  of 
men  that  ever  tramped  upon  the  earth."  This  incident  was  re- 
lated to  the  author  by  Doctor  Edwin  McGuire  of  Kichmond. 
The  usual  orders  to  cook  rations  and  prepare  to  move  at  a  mo- 
ment's notice  were  given  the  men  in  their  bivouac  at  Culpeper, 
and  everything  was  bustle  and  confusion  in  preparation  to 

Before  proceeding  to  relate  the  movements  of  the  army 
Northward  it  becomes  necessary  to  go  back  to  Western  Vir- 
ginia and  state  what  has  been  transpiring  in  that  section.  Af- 
ter the  battle  of  Sharpsburg  and  the  Confederates  had  retired 
south  of  the  Potomac,  General  Stuart  with  a  portion  of  his 
cavalry  corps  made  a  ride  around  the  Federal  army  of  the  Po- 
tomac. On  reaching  his  starting  point  about  Cumberland, 
Maryland,  he  ascertained  that  the  Federal  General  Cox  with 
about  5,000  men  had  started  for  the  valley  of  the  Kanawha,  to 
intercept  or  cut  off  General  Loring,  who  was  operating  in  the 
said  valley  with  an  army  composed  largely  of  New  River  Val- 
ley men.  Loring  being  informed  of  this  movement  of  General 
Cox,  retired  from  the  Valley  of  the  Kanawha  to  the  New  River 
section.  In  Loring  s  command  were  a  large  number  of  men 
from  the  Counties  of  Giles,  Mercer,  Monroe,  and  Greenbrier. 

252  New  River  Settlements 

These  men  belonged  largely  to  the  36th  and  GOth  A^'irginia  reg- 
iments of  infantry  and  to  the  23rd,  26th  and  30th  battalions 
of  infantry,  and  to  William  H.  French's  battalion,  afterwards 
17th  regiment  of  cavalry.  There  was  also  along  with  General 
Loring  two  or  more  companies  of  Tazewell  County  men,  one  of 
which  was  that  of  Captain  D.  B.  Baldwin,  of  the  23rd  Virginia 
battalion.  On  Loring's  return  from  the  Valley  of  the  Kana- 
wha, he  was  relieved  by  General  John  Echols,  who  soon  there- 
after on  account  of  ill  health,  was  relieved  by  Major  General 
Samuel  Jones.  During  the  winter  of  1862-3  the  3Gth  and  60th 
Virginia  regiments  with  Otey's  battery,  and  for  a  part  of  the 
time  other  troops,remained  at  Princeton,while  another  portion 
of  the  troops  that  had  formed  a  part  of  Loring's  command  were 
stationed  at  the  Narrows  of  New  River,  and  some  wintered  in 
Monroe,  and  Greenbrier  Counties,  while  the  cavalry  of  Jen- 
kins' brigade  in  part  sent  their  horses  farther  south  to  be  win- 
tered, the  most  of  the  men  remaining  on  duty  on  the  outposts. 
Colonel  William  H.  French  took  his  comand  to  the  county  of 
Floyd  and  adjacent  counties,  where  it  remained  until  towards 
the  opening  of  the  spring  of  1863,  when  it  removed  to  Roanoke 
County,  where  the  Colonel  succeeded  in  completing  the  organ- 
ization of  his  regiment,  which  was  attached  to  General  Jenkins' 
brigade  of  cavalry,  and  later  moved  into  the  lower  Valley  of 
Virginia  in  the  early  days  of  June,  leading  the  advance  of  Gen- 
eral Lee's  army  into  Pennsylvania.  The  cavalry  brigade  of  Jen- 
kins was  composed  of  the  8th,  14th,  16th,  17th,  19th  regiments, 
and  the  34th,  36th  and  37th  battalions  of  cavalry.  The  Vir- 
ginia batteries  of  Chapman,  Bryant,  Otey,  and  Stamp  were  also 
a  part  of  the  army  operating  in  southwestern  and  western  Vir- 
ginia, and  were  in  part  composed  of  New  River  Valley  men 
from  the  counties  of  Giles,  Monroe,  and  Mercer.  From  Octo- 
ber, 1862,  to  the  spring  of  1863,  the  southwest  Virginia  coun- 
try and  western  Virginia,  from  the  Tennessee  line  at  Bristol 
to  Staunton  in  the  Valley,  was  kept  in  an  almost  constant  state 
of  excitement  and  alarm,  on  account  of  the  frequent  incur- 
sions of  Federal  raiding  parties,  and  the  march  of  larger  bodies 

1861-1865  253 

of  Federal  troops  into  that  territory.  Small  parties  of  Feder- 
al scouts  and  patrols,  even  in  the  cold  winter  months,  pene- 
trated far  into  the  interior,  even  within  the  Confederate  line  of 
outposts,  and  the  country  was  filled  with  Federal  spies,  who 
kept  their  friends  along  the  lines  referred  to  fully  posted  as  to 
the  strength  and  movements  of  the  Confederates.  To  some  ex- 
tent this  was  likewise  true  of  the  Confederate  scouts,  patrols, 
and  spies  as  to  the  movements  of  the  Federals.  A  large  part  of 
the  territory  referred  to  was,  on  account  of  bad  roads  and 
swollen  streams,  almost  wholly  impracticable  for  military  op- 
eration in  the  winter  season.  We  left  the  army  of  Northern 
Virginia  in  its  bivouac  near  Culpeper  Court  House.  Pickett's 
division  left  its  bivouac  at  the  point  above  mentioned  on  Mon- 
day, the  15th  day  of  June,  the  head  of  the  column  directed  to- 
ward the  Blue  Ridge  and  Snicker's  Gap,  through  which  it  pass- 
ed on  the  20th,  and  crossed  the  Shenandoah  at  Castleman's  fer- 
ry. Here  it  was  detained  for  two  or  three  days  as  well  as  at 
Berryville,  for  the  purpose  of  remaining  in  supporting  distance 
of  the  cavalry  operating  east  of  the  Ridge.  The  division  march- 
ed from  Culpeper  left  in  front,  that  it  might  by  facing  into  line, 
meet  the  enemy  at  any  moment.  Gen.  Ewell's  corps  in  the  ad- 
vance had  routed  Milroy  at  Winchester,  and  cleared  the  route 
for  the  rapid  movement  of  the  other  troops  following  his  corps. 
Longstreet's  corps,  which  included  Pickett's  division,  of  which 
division  only  three  of  the  brigades  were  on  this  march,  contin- 
ued its  movement  through  Martinsburg,  by  Falling  Waters,  and 
on  the  evening  of  Wednesday,  June  the  27th,it  crossed  the  Poto- 
mac at  Williamsport,  and  bivouaced  a  short  distance  out  of 
the  town,  on  the  Maryland  side  of  the  river.  The  morale  of 
the  army  was  never  better,  officers  and  men  alike  were  inspired 
with  confidence  in  their  ability  to  defeat  the  enemy  wherever 
he  might  choose  to  offer  battle.  And  never  did  an  army  move 
into  an  enemy's  country  in  better  fighting  trim  and  spirit.  It 
was  doubtless  this  spirit  of  over-confidence  that  lost  us  the 
battle  of  Gettysburg.  The  men  were  in  splendid  condition, 
everything  in  firstclass  order,  no  straggling,  no  desertion,  no 

254  New  River  Settlements 

destruction  of  private  property,  no  outrages  committed  upon 
citizens ;  the  orders  of  the  commanding  General  on  this  subject 
were  as  a  rule,  strictly  observed.  Here  was  a  grand,  magnifi- 
cent spectacle ;  a  great  army  of  effective  men,  and  every  man  a 
soldier  in  the  true  sense  of  the  word,  the  heroes  of  victories 
on  more  than  a  dozen  fields;  marching  through  the  country  of 
their  enemy  unobstructed  and  unopposed. 

The  corps  of  General  Longstreet  continued  its  march  on  the 
25th  to  Hagerstown,  where  it  halted  to  allow  the  corps  of  Gen- 
eral A,  P.  Hill,  which  had  crossed  at  Shepherdstown,  to  pass  to 
the  front.  On  Saturday,  the  27tli,  the  march  was  continued  to 
Chambersburg,  Pennsylvania,  halting  on  the  road  on  the  outer 
edge  of  the  town  in  front  of  the  beautiful  residence  of  Colonel 
McClure,  where  some  ladies  made  their  appearance  and  deliv- 
ered quite  a  spicy  address  or  somewhat  of  a  lecture,  which  was 
responded  to  with  "Dixie"  by  the  band  of  the  7th  Virginia  regi- 
ment. A  few  miles  beyond  the  command  halted  and  went  into 
bivouac  on  the  York  road.  During  the  28th,  29th  and  30th  of 
June  and  1st  day  of  July  the  division  of  Pickett  was  engaged 
in  the  destruction  of  the  track  of  the  Cumberland  Valley  Rail- 
road. At  near  2  o'clock,  A.  M.,  of  Thursday,  July  2nd,  the  long 
roll  sounded  and  the  men  were  soon  under  arms  and  in  line, 
and  moved  promptly  on  the  road  leading  to  Gettysburg,  the  vi- 
cinity of  which  was,  after  a  rapid  and  tiresome  march  of  some 
twenty  five  miles,  reached  about  4  o'clock,  P.  M.,  and  the  divi- 
sioii  went  into  bivouac  about  two  miles  from  the  town.  The  oth- 
er division  of  Longstreet's  corps  had  preceded  that  of  Pickett 
some  hours,  and  had  been  in  the  fight  the  evening  of  the  day  of 
Pickett's  arrival.  A  little  before  daylight  on  the  morning  of 
Friday,  the  3rd,  the  division  moved  from  its  bivouac,  on  tlie 
road  between  Cash  town  and  Gettysburg,  to  the  right  and 
along  the  valley  of  Willoughby's  Run,  reaching  its  battle  line 
about  7  o'clock,  A.  M.  The  usual  inspection  of  arms  and  ammu- 
nition took  place. 

The  brigades  of  Corse  and  Jenkins  having  been  left  in  Vir- 
ginia, Pickett  had  but  Garnett's,  Armistead's  and  Kemper's 

1861-1805  255 

present,  consisting  of  15  regiments— all  Virginians,  numbering 
on  that  morning  about  4500  muskets;  the  aggregate  effective 
strength,  rank  and  file,  was  close  to  4700,  which  will  be  under- 
stood as  including  the  General  and  staff  officers.  This  division 
was  composed  of  the  flower  of  the  Virginian  army,  many  of 
them  mere  youths — schoolboys,  of  which  a  large  number  were 
from  the  New  River  Valley  counties,  viz:  Montgomery,  Carroll, 
Pulaski,  Floyd,  Giles  and  Mercer.  In  the  division  were  com- 
panies from  the  counties  of  Campbell,  Bedford,  Franklin,  Pat- 
rick, Henry,  Craig,  Madison,  Culpeper,  Orange,  Rappahanock, 
Greene,  Albemarle,  Nansemond,  Norfolk,  Cities  of  Richmond, 
Lynchburg,  Norfolk  and  Portsmouth.  The  first  brigade  was 
commanded  by  the  gallant  and  impetuous  General  James  L. 
Kemper,  and  was  in  front  during  the  morning's  march,  and  in 
battle  line  held  the  right,  with  Garnett's  brigade  on  the  left, 
and  Armistead  somewhat  to  the  left  and  rear. 

Fencing  and  other  obstructions  were  cleared  away,  and  the 
line  moved  forward  a  short  distance  into  a  field  on  which  was  a 
growing  crop  of  rye.  Arms  were  stacked  and  instructions 
given  that  upon  the  report  of  two  guns,  which  were  to  be  sig- 
nals, the  men  were  to  lie  flat  upon  the  ground.  In  front  of  the 
division  was  massed  the  Confederate  artillery,  numbering 
about  one  hundred  and  fifty  pieces.  On  the  hills  beyond  and 
1400  yards,  or  a  little  more,  away  and  in  front,  were  something 
like  an  equal  number  of  Federal  guns,  prepared  and  ready  for 
the  fray.  The  heat  was  exceedingly  oppressive,  and  several  of 
the  men  had  sunstroke,  and  all  suffered  more  or  less  for  water. 
It  was  past  one  o'clock  when  the  report  of  the  two  signal  guns 
rang  out  upon  the  air,  and  down  upon  their  faces  went  the 
men,  and  then  began  and  continued  for  nearly  two  hours  the 
most  terrific  and  destructive  artillery  duel  that  ever  occurred 
on  the  face  of  the  earth.  The  atmosphere  was  broken  by  the 
rush  and  crash  of  projectiles,  solid  shot,  shrieking,  bursting 
shells.  The  sun,  so  brilliant  before,  was  now  darkened  by 
smoke  and  mist  enveloping  and  shadowing  the  earth,  through 
which  came  hissing  and  shrieking  firey  fuses  and  messengers  of 

25(5  New  River  Settlements 

death,  sweeping,  plunging,  cutting,  ploughing  through  tlie 
ranks,  carrying  mutilation,  destruction,  pain,  suffering,  and 
death  in  every  direction.  Whithersoever  you  might  look  could 
be  seen  at  almost  every  moment  muskets,  swords,  haversacks, 
human  flesh  and  bones  flying  and  dangling  in  the  air  or  bounc- 
ing above  the  earth,  which  now  trembled  as  if  shaken  by  an 
earthquake.  It  was  afterwards  stated  by  the  teamsters  and 
cooks,  who  were  two  and  three  miles  away,  that  the  sash  in  the 
windows  of  the  houses  where  they  were  shook  and  chattered  as 
if  caused  by  a  violent  wind.  Over,  behind,  in  front,  in  the  midst, 
and  through  the  ranks,  poured  shot  and  shell  and  the  frag- 
ments thereof,  dealing  out  death  on  every  hand. 

The  men  remained  in  their  places,  except  those  knocked  out 
by  shot  or  shell,  and  when  the  firing  ceased,  at  about  a  quarter 
past  3  o'clock,  and  the  order  came  to  fall  in,  the  men  sprang 
quickly  to  their  places,  ready  to  move  at  the  word.  General 
Pickett  came  dashing  along  calling  out,  "Up,  men,  and  to  your 
posts ;  don't  forget  today  that  you  are  from  Old  Virginia."  At 
the  order  forward,  tlie  three  brigades  moved  up  the  hill  by  the 
batteries  and  across  the  open  as  steadily  as  troops  ever  moved 
under  fire.  The  fresh  batteries  of  the  enemy  now  opened  at 
short  range,  and  from  sheltered  positions  poured  a  destructive 
fire  into  these  advancing  columns,  the  Federal  batteries  on  the 
Round  Top  enfilading  the  Confederate  line  as  it  advanced.  The 
enemy  had  covered  his  front  by  a  heavy  line  of  skirmishers, 
which  withdrew  as  the  Confederates  advanced.  Hancock's  sec- 
ond Federal  army  corps,  abou^t  18,000  strong,  held  the  lines 
which  Pickett's  division  assailed,  and  as  the  line  approached 
the  stone  wall  behind  which  lay  these  men  of  Hancock's,  it  was 
met  by  a  most  scathing  fire,  which  killed  and  wounded  not  less 
than  twenty-five  per  centum  of  Pickett's  men.  Notwithsand- 
ing  this  fire,  not  stopping,  but  with  a  rush  they  went  over  Han- 
cock's line: 

"Now  they  climb  the  mountain  height 
And  plant  the  flag  of  freedom's  right." 

In  the  headlong  rush  over  the  Federal  line  they  had  captured 

1861-1865  257 

a  large  number  of  guns,  and  had  effected  a  lodgment  which 
only  needed  a  strong  helping  hand  for  a  short  while  and  the 
Federal  army  would  have  been  cut  in  twain,  and  must  have 
rapidly  retreated  or  been  destroyed.  Pickett's  division  had  made 
a  great  and  daring  charge,  but  had  been  repulsed;  and  what 
remained  had  to  retire  to  the  point  from  which  the  advance  be- 
gan. Here  Generals  Lee  and  Pickett  rallied  and  reformed  the 
men  to  meet  what  was  supposed  to  be  an  advance  of  the  enemy. 
It  was  while  this  rally  and  reformation  was  taking  place  that 
General  Pickett  complained  so  bitterly  of  the  treatment  of  his 
division  in  not  being  properly  supported  and  the  fearful  loss  it 
had  sustained;  and  which  called  forth  the  noble  response  of 
the  great  soul  of  Lee  that  ''Its  all  my  fault."  It  was  here,  at  the 
same  time,  that  a  boy  by  the  name  of  Belcher,  from  Franklin 
County,  bearing  the  flag  of  the  24th  Virginia  regiment,  address- 
ing General  Pickett,  said,  "General,  shall  we  charge  them 
again  ?"  It  was  also  at  this  moment  that  General  Kemper  was 
being  carried  by,  dreadfully  wounded,  that  Pickett's  anguish 
was  so  great  that  he  wept,  and  then  it  was  that  General  Lee 
made  the  statement  above,  "It's  all  my  fault."  Noble  words 
from  a  noble  man ! 

It  may  be  truthfully  said  that  no  commander  of  a  great 
army  so  universally  and  deservedly  enjoyed  the  perfect  love, 
confidence  and  esteem  of  his  men,  and  that  no  General  had 
higher  conception  of  the  manliness  and  valor  of  his  troops,  and 
no  body  of  men  that  ever  tramped  on  the  earth  followed  its 
leader  with  such  supreme  devotion  as  the  men  who  followed 
General  Lee ;  it  was  akin  to  that  expressed  by  Ruth  for  Naomi : 
"Entreat  me  not  to  leave  thee  or  to  return  from  following  after 
thee,  for  whither  thou  goest  I  will  go ;  and  where  thou  lodgest 
I  will  lodge;  thy  people  shall  be  my  people,  and  thy  God  my 
God.  Where  thou  diest  I  will  die  and  there  will  I  be  buried." 
No  higher  earthly  tribute  could  be  paid  to  a  man  than  that  to 
General  Lee  by  Senator  Ben  Hill,  of  Georgia,  in  which  he  said : 
"He  was  a  foe  without  hate,  a  friend  without  treachery,  a  sol- 
dier without  cruelty,  and  a  victim  without  murmuring.     He 

358  New  Kiver  Settlements 

was  a  public  oflScer  without  vices,  a  private  citizen  without 
wrong,  a  neighbor  without  reproach,  a  Christian  without  hyp- 
ocrisy, and  a  man  without  guile.  He  was  a  Caesar  without 
his  ambition,  Frederick  without  his  tyranny,  Napoleon  without 
his  selfishness,  and  Washington  without  his  reward.  He  was 
as  obedient  to  authority  as  a  servant,  and  royal  in  authority  as 
a  King.  He  was  as  gentle  as  a  woman  in  life,  pure  and  modest 
as  a  virgin  in  thought,  watchful  as  a  Roman  Vestal,  submissive 
to  law  as  Socrates,  and  grand  in  battle  as  Achilles."  No 
less  deserving  is  the  tribute  of  Mr.  Charles  Francis  Adams, 
who  said  in  seaking  of  General  Lee:  "He  represented  and 
individualized  all  that  was  highest  and  best  in  Southern  mind 
and  the  Confederate  cause, — the  loyalty  to  state,  the  keen 
sense  of  humor  and  personal  obligation,  the  slightly  archaic, 
the  almost  patriarchal  love  of  dependent  family  and  home. 
He  was  a  Virginian  of  the  Virginians.  He  represents  a 
type  which  is  gone — hardly  less  extinct  than  that  of  the  great 
English  Noblemen  of  the  feudal  times,  or  the  ideal  head  of  the 
Scotch  clan  of  a  later  period ;  but  just  as  long  as  men  admire 
courage,  devotion,  patriotism,  the  high  sense  of  duty  and  per- 
sonal honor — all,  in  a  word,  which  go  to  make  up  what  we 
know  as  character — just  so  long  will  that  type  of  a  man  be 
held  in  affectionate,  reverential  memory." 

Long  since  the  close  of  our  civil  strife,  numbers  of  ex-Fed- 
eral soldiers  are  beginning  to  pay  just  tribute  to  the  gallantry 
and  devotion  of  the  Confederate  soldier.  Among  the  ex-Fed- 
erals who  have  written  on  the  battle  of  Gettysburg  is  Mr. 
Charles  A.  Pacta,  of  Massachusetts,  who  not  long  since  pub- 
lished an  article  in  a  newspaper,  containing  a  description  of 
the  charge  of  Pickett's  division  at  Gettysburg  on  July  3rd, 
1803,  in  which  he  says : 

''In  all  great  wars  involving  the  destinies  of  nations,  it  is 
neither  the  number  of  battles,  nor  the  names,  nor  the  loss  of 
life,  that  remain  fixed  in  the  mind  of  the  masses;  but  simply 
the  one  decided  struggle  which  either  in  its  immediate  or  re- 

1861-1865  259 

mote  sequence  closes  the  conflict.  Of  the  one  hundred  battles 
of  the  great  Napoleon,  Waterloo  alone  lingers  in  the  memory. 
The  Franco-Prussian  war,  so  fraught  with  changes  to  Europe, 
presents  but  one  name  that  will  never  fade — Sedan.  Even  in 
our  own  country,  how  few  battles  of  the  Revolution  can  we 
enumerate;  but  is  there  a  child  who  does  not  know  that 
Bunker's  Hill  sounded  the  death  knell  of  English  rule  in  the 
land?  And  now  but  twenty  years  since  the  greatest  conflict 
of  modern  times  was  closed  at  Appomattox,  how  few  can  we 
readily  recall  of  the  scores  of  blood-stained  battle  fields  on 
which  our  friends  and  neighbors  fought  and  fell;  but  is  there 
one,  old  or  young,  cultured  or  ignorant,  of  the  North  or  of  the 
South,  than  cannot  speak  of  Gettysburg?  But  what  is  Get- 
tysburg, either  in  its  first  day's  Federal  defeat,  or  its  second 
day's  terrible  slaughter  around  Little  Round  Top,  without 
the  third  day's  immortal  charge  by  Pickett  and  his  brave  Vir- 
ginians? In  it  we  have  the  culmination  of  the  rebellion.  It 
took  long  years  after  to  drain  all  the  life-blood  from  the  foe, 
but  never  again  did  the  wave  of  rebellion  rise  so  gallantly 
high,  as  when  it  beat  upon  the  crest  of  Cemetery  Ridge.  The 
storming  of  the  heights  of  Inkerman,  the  charge  of  the  noble 
Six  Hundred,  the  fearful  onslaught  of  the  Guards  at  Water- 
loo, the  scaling  of  Lookout  Mountain — have  all  been  sung  in 
story,  and  perhaps  always  will  be;  but  they  all  pale  beside 
the  glory  that  will  ever  enshroud  the  heroes  who,  with  per- 
haps not  literally  Cannon  to  right  of  them  and  cannon  to  left 
of  them,  but  with  a  hundred  cannons  belching  forth  death  in 
front  of  them,  hurled  themselves  into  the  center  of  a  great 
army,  and  had  victory  almost  within  their  grasp. 

''To  describe  this  charge,  we  will  go  back  to  the  evening  of 
the  2nd  of  July,  and  recall  upon  what  basis  the  cautious  Lee 
could  undertake  so  fearful  a  responsibility.  The  victorious 
Southrons,  fresh  from  their  triumphs  at  Fredericksburg  and 
Chancellorsville,  had  entered  the  North,  carrying  consterna- 
tion and  dismay  to  every  hamlet,  with  none  to  oppose;  their 
forward  march  was  one  of  spoil,  and  it  was  not  until  the  1st 

2(>0  New  River  Settlements 

of  July  that  they  met  their  old  foemen,  the  Army  of  the  Poto- 
mac, in  the  streets  of  Gettysburg,  and  after  a  fierce  conflict 
drove  them  back.  The  second  day's  conflict  was  a  terrible 
slaughter,  and  at  its  close  the  Federal  army,  although  holding 
its  position,  was  to  a  certain  extent  disheartened.  Many  of 
our  best  Generals  and  commanding  oflkers  were  killed  or 
wounded,  scores  of  regiments  and  batteries  were  nearly 
wiped  out.  Sickles'  line  was  broken  and  driven  in  and  its  posi- 
tion was  held  by  Longstreet.  Little  Round  Top,  the  key  of  the 
position,  was  held  at  a  frightful  loss  of  life,  and  Ewell  upon 
the  right  had  gained  a  footing  upon  the  ridge.  The  Rebel  army 
was  joyful  and  expectant  of  victory. 

"The  morning  of  the  3rd  of  July  opened  clear  and  bright, 
and  one  hundred  thousand  men  faced  each  other,  awaiting  the 
signal  of  conflict;  but,  except  the  pushing  of  Ewell  from  his 
position,  the  hours  passed  on,  relieved  only  by  the  rumbling 
of  artillery  carriages  as  they  were  massed  by  Lee  upon  Semi- 
nary Ridge,  and  by  Meade  upon  Cemetery  Ridge.  At  12 
o'clock  Lee  ascended  the  cupola  of  the  Pennsylvania  College, 
in  quiet  surveyed  the  Union  lines,  and  decided  to  strike  for 
Hancock's  center.  Meanwhile,  Pickett  with  his  three  Virginia 
brigades  had  arrived  from  Chambersburg  and  taken  cover  in 
the  woods  of  Seminary  Ridge.  What  Lee's  feeling  must  have 
been,  as  he  looked  at  the  hundred  death-dealing  cannon  massed 
on  Cemetery  Hill,  and  the  fifty  thousand  men  waiting  patiently 
in  front  and  behind  them,  men  whose  valor  he  knew  well  in 
many  a  bitter  struggle — and  then  looked  at  his  handful  of 
brave  Virginians,  three  small,  decimated  brigades  which  he 
was  about  to  hurl  into  that  vortex  of  death — no  one  will  ever 
know.  The  blunder  that  sent  the  Light  Brigade  to  death  at 
Ralakava  was  bad  enough,  but  here  was  five  thousand  men 
waiting  to  seek  victory  where  only  the  day  before  ten  thousand 
had  lost  their  lives  or  their  limbs  in  the  same  futile  endeavor. 

''Leaving  the  college,  Lee  called  a  council  of  his  Generals 
at  Longstreet's  head(}uarters,  and  the  plan  of  attack  was 
formed.     It  is  said  that  the  level-headed  Longstreet  opposed 

1861-1865  261 

the  plan,  and  if  so  it  was  but  in  keeping  with  his  remarkable 
generalship.  The  attack  was  to  be  opened  with  artillery  fire 
to  demoralize  and  batter  the  Federal  line,  and  was  to  be  open- 
ed by  a  signal  of  two  shots  from  the  Washington  Artillery. 
At  half  past  one  the  report  of  the  first  gun  rang  out  on  the 
still  summer  air,  followed  a  minute  later  by  the  second,  and 
then  came  the  roar  and  flash  of  one  hundred  and  thirty-eight 
Rebel  cannon.  Almost  immediately  one  hundred  Fedreal  guns 
responded  and  the  battle  had  begun.  Shot  and  shell  tore 
through  the  air,  crashing  through  batteries,  tearing  men  and 
horses  to  pieces;  the  very  earth  seemed  to  shake  and  the  hills 
to  reel  as  the  terrible  thunders  re-echoed  amongst  them.  For 
nearly  an  hour  every  conceivable  form  of  ordnance  known  to 
modern  gunnery  hissed  and  shrieked,  whistled  and  screamed 
as  it  went  forth  on  its  death  mission,  till,  exhausted  by  excite- 
ment and  heat,  the  gunners  slackened  their  fire  and  silence 
reigned  again. 

"Then  Pickett  and  his  brave  legions  stood  up  and  formed  for 
the  death-struggle;  three  remnants  of  brigades,  consisting  of 
Garnett's  brigade — the  Eighth,  Eighteenth,  Nineteenth,  Twen- 
ty-eighth, Fifty-sixth  Virginia;  Armistead's  brigade — the 
Ninth,  Fourteenth,  Thirty-eighth,  Fifty-third,  Fifty-seventh 
Virginia;  Kemper's  brigade — First,  Third,  Seventh,  Eleventh, 
Twenty-fourth  Virginia.  Their  tattered  flags  bore  the  scars 
of  a  score  of  battles,  and  from  their  ranks  the  merciless  bullet 
had  already  taken  two-thirds  their  number. 

"In  compact  ranks,  their  front  scarcely  covering  two  of  Han- 
cock's brigades,  with  flags  waving  as  if  for  a  gala  day,  Gen- 
eral Pickett  saluted  Longstreet  and  asked,  "Shall  I  go  for- 
ward, sir?"  but  it  was  not  in  Longstreet's  heart  to  send  those 
heroes  of  so  many  battles  to  certain  death,  and  he  turned 
away  his  head — when  Pickett,  with  that  proud  impetuous  air 
which  had  earned  him  the  title  of  the  'Ney  of  the  Rebel  army,' 
exclaimed :  "Sir,  I  shall  lead  my  division  forward !"  The 
orders  now  rang  out,  "Attention !  Attention !"  and  the  men 
realizing  the  end  was  near,  cried  out  to  their  comrades:  "Good- 

2(52  New  Kiver  Settlements 

bye  boys,  good-bye  I"  Suddenly  rang  on  the  air  the  final  order 
from  Pickett  himself,  and  his  saber  flashed  from  its  scabbard — 
''Column  forward,  guide  center!"  And  the  Brigades  of  Kem- 
per, Garnett  and  Armistead  moved  toward  Cemetery  Ridge 
as  one  man.  Soon  Pettigrew's  division  emerged  from  the 
woods  and  followed  in  echelon  on  Pickett's  left  flank,  and 
Wilcox  with  his  Alabama  division  moved  out  to  support  his 
right  flank — in  all,  about  fifteen  thousand  men.  The  selection 
of  these  supports  shows  a  lack  of  judgment  which  it  would 
almost  seem  impossible  for  Lee  to  have  made.  Pettigrew's 
division  was  composed  mostly  of  new  troops  from  North  Caro- 
lina, and  had  been  terribly  used  up  in  the  first  day's  fight  and 
were  in  no  condition  to  form  part  of  a  forlorn  hope.  Wilcox's 
troops  had  also  received  severe  punishment  in  the  second 
day's  engagement  in  his  attack  on  the  Ridge,  and  should  have 
been  replaced  by  fresh,  well  tried  brigades.  But  the  movement 
had  now  begun,  and  Lee  with  his  generals  about  him  watched 
anxiously  for  the  result. 

"It  was  nearly  a  mile  to  the  Union  lines,  and  as  they  ad- 
vanced over  the  open  plain  the  Federal  artillery  opened  again, 
plowing  great  lanes  tlirough  their  solid  ranks,  but  they  closed 
up  to  guide  center  as  if  upon  dress  parade;  w^hen  half  way 
over  Pickett  halted  his  division,  amidst  a  terrible  fire  of  shot 
and  shell,  and  changed  his  direction  by  an  oblique  movement, 
coolly  and  beautifully  made.  But  here  occurred  the  greatest 
mistake  of  all.  ^^llcox  paid  no  attention  to  this  change  of 
movement,  but  kept  straight  on  to  the  front,  thus  opening  a 
tremendous  gap  between  the  two  columns  and  exposing  Pick- 
ett's right  to  all  the  mishaps  that  afterward  overtook  it.  To 
those  wlio  have  ever  faced  artillery  fire  it  is  marvellous  and 
unexplainable  how  human  beings  could  have  advanced  under 
the  terrific  fire  of  a  hundred  cannon,  every  inch  of  air 
being  ladened  with  the  missiles  of  death;  but  in  splendid 
formation  they  still  came  bravely  on  till  within  range  of  the 
musketry;  then  the  blue  line  of  Hancock's  corps  rose  and 
poured  into  their  rank  a  murderous  fire.     With  a  wild  yell 

1861-1865  263 

the  Rebels  pushed  on  unfalteringly,  crossed  the  Federal  line 
and  laid  hands  upon  eleven  cannon.  Men  fired  in  each  other's 
faces;  there  were  bayonet  thrusts,  cutting  with  sabres,  hand- 
to-hand  contests,  oaths,  curses,  yells  and  hurrahs.  The  second 
corps  fell  back  behind  the  guns  to  allow  the  use  of  grape  and 
double  canister,  and  as  it  tore  through  the  Rebel  ranks,  at 
only  a  few  paces  distance,  the  dead  and  wounded  were  piled 
in  ghastly  heaps.  Still  on  they  came,  up  to  the  very  muzzles 
of  the  guns;  they  were  blown  away  from  the  cannon's  mouth, 
but  yet  they  did  not  waver.  Pickett  had  taken  the  key  to  the 
position  and  the  glad  shout  of  victory  was  heard ;  as,  the  very 
impersonation  of  a  soldier,  he  still  forced  his  troops  to  the 
crest  of  Cemetery  Ridge. 

"Kemper  and  Armistead  broke  through  Hancock's  line, 
scaled  the  hill  and  planted  their  flag  on  its  crest.  Just  before 
Armistead  was  shot,  he  placed  his  flag  upon  a  captured  can- 
non and  cried:  "Give  them  the  cold  steel,  boys,"  but  valor 
could  do  no  more,  the  handful  of  braves  had  won  immortality, 
but  could  not  conquer  an  army.  Pettigrew's  weak  division 
was  broken,  fleeing  and  almost  annihilated.  Wilcox,  owing 
to  his  great  mistake  in  separating  his  column,  was  easily  routed, 
and  Stannard's  Vermonters,  thrown  into  the  gap,  were  creat- 
ing havoc  on  Pickett's  flank.  Pickett  seeing  his  supports  gone, 
his  generals,  Kemper,  Armistead,  and  Garnett  killed  or  wound- 
ed, every  field  ofiicer  of  the  three  brigades  gone,  three-fourths 
of  his  men  killed  or  captured,  himself  untouched,  but  broken- 
hearted, gave  the  order  for  retreat,  but,  band  of  heroes  as  they 
were,  they  fled  not;  but  amidst  that  still  continuous,  terrible 
fire,  they  slowly,  sullenly  recrossed  the  plain — all  that  was 
left  of  them,  but  few  of  five  thousand. 

"Thus  ended  the  greatest  charge  known  to  modern  warfare; 
made  in  the  most  unequal  manner  against  a  great  army,  and 
midst  the  most  terrible  cannonade  known  in  wars,  and  yet  so 
perfect  was  the  discipline,  so  audacious  the  valor,  that  had 
this  handful  of  Virginians  been  properly  supported  they  would 
perhaps  have  rendered  the  Federal   position  untenable,   and 

264  New  River  Settlements 

possibly  have  established  the  Southern  Confederacy.  While 
other  battlefields  are  upturned  by  the  plough  and  covered  with 
waving  grain,  Cemetery  Ridge  will  forever  proudly  uphold  its 
monuments,  telling  of  glory  both  to  the  Blue  and  the  Gray, 
and  our  children's  children,  while  standing  upon  its  crest,  will 
rehearse  again  of  Pickett's  wonderful  charge." 

In  the  article  just  quoted,  injustice  is  done  to  Pettigrew's 
North  Carolinians,  as  it  is  known  that  one  or  more  of  his 
brigades,  especially  that  of  General  Lane,  behaved  as  gal- 
lantly and  as  bravely  as  any  brigade  in  that  charge,  and  de- 
serve as  much  credit  and  praise. 

The  army  remained  on  the  battlefield  during  the  4th,  that 
night,  and  early  on  the  morning  of  the  5th  it  withdrew 
through  the  passes  of  the  mountain,  retiring  on  Hagerstown 
and  Williamsport,  where  it  remained  in  battle  line  until  the 
night  of  the  13th,  not  being  able  to  cross  the  Potomac  on  ac- 
count of  its  swollen  condition.  Longstreet's  and  Hill's  corps 
passed  over  the  bridge,  while  Ewell's  forded  the  river  at  Wil- 
liamsport; the  three  corps  going  into  bivouac  in  the  neighbor- 
hood of  Bunker's  Hill,  where  they  remained  for  several  days. 
Pickett's  division  on  its  retirement  from  the  battlefield,  and 
on  its  march  to  Winchester,  Virginia,  had  charge  of  about 
4,000  Federal  prisoners,  captured  during  tlie  three  days  en- 
gagements at  Gettyburg. 

The  total  loss  of  this  division  in  the  battle  of  the  3rd,  was 
2888,  of  which  224  were  killed,  1080  wounded,  and  1584  cap- 
tured or  missing.  The  loss  in  Kemper's  brigade  was  729.  The 
7th  Virginia  regiment  lost  67  killed  and  wounded,  and  the 
24th  Virginia  lost  128  killed  and  wounded.  The  loss  of 
the  division  in  general  and  field  officers  was  frightful.  Brig- 
adier General  Garnett  was  killed,  Armistead  mortally  and 
Kemper  dangerously  wounded.  Of  the  whole  complement  of 
general  and  field  officers,  aggregating  about  48,  only  one.  Lieu- 
tenant Colonel  was  left  unhurt.  The  color  bearer  of  tlie  7th 
Virginia  regiment,   with   his  eight   color   sergeants   and   cor- 

1861-1865  265 

porals,  went  down  in  the  battle,  either  killed  or  wounded ;  the 
colors  falling  into  the  hands  of  the  82nd  New  York  Infantry, 
commanded  by  Captain  John  Darrow.  There  went  into  the 
battle  of  Company  D,  7th  Virginia  regiment,  31  men,  of  which 
17  were  killed  and  wounded.  The  killed  were,  David  C.  Akers, 
Jesse  Barrett,  Daniel  Bish,  and  John  P.  Sublett;  the  wounded, 
Lieutenant  Elisha  M.  Stone,  and  Elijah  R.  Walker,  Sergeants 
Thomas  S.  Taylor  and  David  E.  Johnston,  the  latter  severely, 
Corporal  J.  B.  Young,  and  privates  William  C.  Fortner,  James 
H.  Fortner,  leg  amputated,  John  Meadows,  and  D,  L.  Sarver; 
John  W.  Hight  was  taken  prisoner.  No  data  is  at  hand  as  to 
the  names  of  the  killed  and  wounded  in  the  Giles  company 
of  the  24th  Virginia,  but  the  names  of  the  Mercer  County  com- 
pany in  that  regiment  who  were  killed  or  wounded,  are  as  fol- 
lows, viz:  Killed,  Charles  Burroughs,  Squire  Cook,  James 
Kinney,  Jesse  Parsons,  B.  W.  Peck,  and  J.  P.  Thomas;  wound- 
ed. Captain  H.  Scott,  H.  French  Calfee,  mortally,  Jordon  Cox, 
Robert  A.  George,  A.  J.  Holstein,  Rufus  G.  Rowland,  James 
Snead,  and  Levi  Vermillion ;  total,  fourteen. 

General  Pickett  was  greatly  distressed  over  the  losses  in 
his  divison,  and  wrote  his  report,  which  contained  matter 
which  General  Lee  thought  for  the  good  of  the  service  ought 
not  to  be  published,  and  hence  returned  the  report  to  General 
Pickett,  suggesting  tlie  omission  of  the  objectional  matter,  and 
in  his  letter  returning  said  report,  says:  ''You  and  your  men 
have  crowned  yourself  with  glory,  but  we  have  the  enemy  to 
fight,  and  must  carefully  at  this  critical  moment  guard 
against  dissensions,  which  the  reflections  in  your  report  would 
create.  I  will  therefore  suggest  that  you  destroy  both  copy 
and  original,  substituting  one  confined  to  casualties  merely. 
I  hope  all  will  yet  be  well."  The  report  was  never  published. 
It  is  supposed  that  General  Pickett  had  seriously  reflected 
upon  some  one  touching  the  disaster  which  befell  his  heroic 
and  gallant  veterans  at  Gettysburg,  who  so  bravely  and  freely 
had  sacrificed  their  lives  upon  the  altar  of  their  country. 
Well  mav  it  be  said  of  them  : 

266  New  River  Settlements 

"Spartans  at  Thermopylae, 
Fought  and  died  for  liberty, 
But  no  richer  legacy 
Left  posterity." 

General  A.  G.  Jenkins'  cavalry  brigade  led  the  advance  of 
the  army  into  Pennsylvania,  and  was  at  Gettysburg,  but  there 
does  not  appear  any  official  report  showing  its  losses,  if  it  sus- 
tained any. 

French's  battery  remained  around  the  defenses  of  Richmond 
during  the  Gettysburg  campaign. 

Notice  must  now  be  taken  of  affairs  in  Western  Virginia. 
Major  General  Samuel  Jones  was  in  command  of  this  depart- 
ment, and  in  whose  command  were  the  brigades  of  Echols, 
Williams,  Wharton,  and  McCausland;  constituted  as  follows, 
viz :  First  brigade.  General  John  Echols,  22nd,  45th,  Virginia 
Regiment;  23rd  and  26th  Virginia  battalions,  and  Chapman's 
Virginia  battery.  Second  Brigade,  General  John  S.  Williams, 
63rd  Virginia  regiment,  64th  Virginia  regiment,  45th  Virginia 
battalion,  21st  Virginia  cavalry,  Virginia  Partisan  Rangers, 
and  Lowry's  Virginia  battery.  Third  brgade.  General  G.  C. 
Wharton,  50th  and  51st  Virginia  Regiments,  30th  Virginia 
battalion,and  Stamp's  Virginia  battery.  Fourth  brigade.  Gen- 
eral John  McCausland,  36th  and  60th  Virginia  regiments,  and 
Bryn's  Virginia  Battery;  with  Jenkins'  cavalry  brigade,  con- 
sisting of  the  8th,  14th,  16th,  17th  and  19th  Virginia  regiments, 
and  34th,  36th,  and  37th  Virginia  battalions  of  cavalry,  to- 
gether with  some  unattached  troops,  viz:  Trigg's  54th  Vir- 
ginia regiment,  two  Virginia  companies  of  Partisan  Rangers, 
commanded  by  Captains  Philip  J.  Thurmond  and  William  D. 
Thurmond,  respectively,  and  Otey's  Virginia  battery;  number- 
ing in  the  aggregate  about  10,000  men,  and  guarding  the  ter- 
ritory and  border  stretching  from  Bristol  to  Staunton.  In 
the  winter  of  1862-3,  and  up  to  March  of  the  latter  year,  these 
troops  were  in  camp  at  various  points  in  the  district  of  coun- 
try mentioned.  Wharton  at  the  Narrows,  Echols  and  Wil- 
liams in  Monroe  and  Greenbrier  section,  later  General  Wil- 

1861-1865  267 

liams  at  Saltville,   and   General   McCausland's   command   at 

In  March  General  Jones  planned  quite  a  formidable  expedi- 
tion into  Northwestern  Virginia,  and  the  Kanawha  Valley, 
sending  a  portion  of  his  troops  into  the  Nicholas  County  sec- 
tion, and  northward  thereof.  A  portion  of  the  cavalry  of  Jen- 
kins was  sent  from  Tazewell  through  McDowell,  and  towards 
the  Ohio;  and  General  McCausland  to  Fayetteville,  but  the 
whole  affair  amounted  to  but  little.  In  the  early  part  of 
May  the  26th  Virginia  battalion,  under  Edgar,  defeated  at  or 
near  Lewisburg  a  portion  of  the  2nd  West  Virginia  cavalry 
regiment.  Later  the  cavalry  brigade  of  Jenkins,  except  the 
8th  regiment  and  Dunn's  battalion,  was  withdrawn  from  the 
Western  Virginia  department,  and  sent  to  the  Valley  of  Vir- 
ginia, preparatory  to  the  march  into  Pennsylvania.  And  in 
July  of  this  same  year,  1863,  the  brigade  of  Wharton  was  also 
sent  to  the  Valley  of  Virginia.  About  the  middle  of  July  the 
brigade  of  McCausland,  stationed  in  Raleigh  County,  at  the 
crossing  of  Piney  River,  was,  by  a  force  of  the  enemy,  com- 
pelled to  abandon  its  position,  and  retreat  upon  Princeton. 
This  force  which  threatened  McCausland  was  under  the  im- 
mediate command  of  the  Federal  Colonel  Toland,  who  had  with 
him  the  2nd  Virginia  cavalry,  the  34th  regiment  of  Ohio  vol 
unteer  infantry,  and  a  detachment  of  the  1st  Virginia  cavalry ; 
these  troops  had  left  the  Kanawha  and  crossed  onto  Coal  River, 
and  thence  to  Raleigh  Court  House,  and  to  the  front  and 
flank  of  McCausland's  command  which  impelled  his  retreat. 

The  Federals  then  returned  to  Coal  River,  and  marched  by 
way  of  Wyoming  Court  House  into  Tazewell  County,  capturing 
at  the  head  of  Abb's  Valley,  Captain  Joel  E.  Stolling  and  his 
company,  which  were  re-captured  on  the  next  day  by  a  bold 
charge  made  by  Colonel  A.  J.  May,  at  the  head  of  his  Kentucky 
cavalry.  The  Federals  marched  rapidly  upon  Wytheville,  then 
virtually  unprotected,  entering  the  same  on  the  evening  of  the 
18th,  when  a  sharp,  brisk  fight  occurred  between  the  enemy  and 
about  130  men  badly  armed,  under  Majors  Boyer  and  Bosang, 

268  New  Kiver  Settlements 

and  Captain  Oliver  with  the  aid  of  a  few  of  the  citizens  of 
the  town.  The  enemv  after  the  loss  of  Colonel  Toland,  who 
was  killed,  Colonel  Powell  dangerously  wounded  and  left  a 
prisoner,  and  having  some  75  or  80  men  killed,  wounded  and 
captured,  retired  from  the  town,  first  setting  it  on  fire.  The 
Confederates  lost  three  killed,  seven  wounded,  and  about  75 
captured,  including  some  of  the  citizens  of  the  town.  The 
Confederates  endeavored  to  intercept  and  capture  this  raiding 
party,  by  sending  troops  on  and  along  its  most  probable  routes 
of  retreat.  Colonel  May,  with  a  portion  of  his  5th  Kentucky 
regiment,  together  with  Captain  Henry  Bowen,  commanding 
a  company  of  Tazewell  County  men  of  the  8th  Virginia  cav- 
alry, followed  closely,  having  several  collisions  and  smart 
skirmishing  with  its  rear  guard,  but  unable  to  force  tlie  party 
to  halt  and  fight.  They  finally  succeeded  in  eluding  the  Con- 
federates, by  taking  unfrequented  paths  through  Crabtree's 
gap,  over  East  River  Mountain  by  W.  H.  Witten's  farm,  Pealed 
Chestnuts  and  over  the  mountain  which  led  them  on  to  the  Tug 
fork  of  Sandy,  where  they  were  virtually  free  from  successful 

The  Federal  Brigadier  General  Averill  having  set  out  from 
Winchester,  Virginia,  on  the  5th  day  of  August,  1863,  with  a 
large  force  of  cavalry  and  mounted  infantry,  for  the  purpose 
of  making  a  raid  into  the  Greenbrier  Valley,  and  of  reaching 
the  Virginia  and  Tennessee  Railroad,  marched  his  command 
across  the  mountains  into  Pocahontas  County,  where  he  en- 
countered Colonel  William  L.  Jackson  with  the  19th  Virginia 
Cavalrv,  whose  command  he  attacked  and  drove  over  the  moun- 
tain  toward  Warm  Springs. 

General  G.  C.  Wharton's  brigade,  which  had  been  so  ordered 
came  over  by  Staunton  to  the  Jackson  River  country  to  meet 
Averill,  who  rather  suddenly  turned  back,  changing  his  course 
toward  Lewisburg,  when  on  the  26th  of  August,  about  one 
and  one-half  miles  east  of  the  White  Sulphur  Springs,  he 
rather  unexpectedly  encountered  a  Confederate  force  under 
the  command  of  Colonel  George  S.  Patton,  consisting  of  the 

1861-1865  269 

22nd  and  45tli  regiments  of  Virginia  infantry,  the  23rd  and 
26th  battalions  of  Virginia  infantry,  the  8th  regiment  of  Vir- 
ginia cavalry,  the  37th  battalion  of  Virginia  caivalry  and 
Chapman's  Monroe  County  battery  of  four  guns.  General 
Averill  had  with  him  the  16th  Illinois  cavalry,  Company  C, 
14th  Pennsylvania  cavalry,  3rd  West  Virginia  cavalry,  detach- 
ment 2nd  West  Virginia  mounted  infantry,  3rd  West  Vir- 
ginia mounted  infantry,  8th  West  Virginia  mounted  infantry 
and  two  West  Virginia  batteries  of  six  guns.  The  fight  con- 
tinued from  early  in  the  morning  on  the  26th  until  about  noon 
of  the  27th,  when  the  enemy  drew  off,  blocking  the  roads  be- 
hind him  and  rendering  rapid  pursuit  impossible,  and  it  had 
to  be  abandoned.  The  Confederate  loss  was  162;  that  of  the 
enemy  218.  The  23rd  Virginia  battalion  of  infantry  lost  three 
killed  and  18  wounded.  Mercer  County  had  one  company, 
Lilley's,  in  the  23rd  battalion,  and  Tazewell  County  had  one 
company  in  the  8th  Virginia  cavalry  regiment,  and  Captain 
D.  B.  Baldwin's  company  in  the  23rd  battalion. 

Colonel  Robert  C.  Trigg's  54th  regiment  of  Virginia  infantry 
and  Colonel  James  M.  French's  63rd  Virginia  regiment  of 
infantry,  served  in  the  Chickamauga  and  other  subsequent 
campaigns  in  the  Southwest  under  Generals  Bragg  and  Hood. 
In  these  two  regiments  were  a  large  number  of  New  River 
men,  and  they  made  records  as  good  and  brave  soldiers,  ac- 
quitting themselves  with  great  credit  in  all  the  battles  in 
which  they  were  engaged. 

In  the  early  days  of  November,  1863,  General  Averill  start- 
ing out  from  Beverly  with  about  three  thousand  men,  passed 
over  into  Pocahontas  County  and  attacked  Colonel  William 
L.  Jackson's  19th  Virginia  regiment  of  cavalry  near  Mill  Point, 
and  compelled  it  to  retire  to  Droop  Mountain,  where  it  was  rein- 
forced by  General  Echols  with  the  22nd  Virginia  Regiment  of 
infantry,  the  23rd  Virginia  battalion  of  infantry,  a  part  of  the 
14th  Virginia  regiment  of  cavalry,  Lurty's  and  Chapman's  bat- 
teries, aggregating  about  1900  men.  The  command  of  General 
Averill  consisted  of  the  3rd   Independent  company  of  Ohio 

270  New  River  Settlements 

cavalry,  28th  Ohio  infantry,  2nd,  3rd,  and  8tli  West  Virginia 
mounted  infantry  ,and  the  lOth  West  Virginia  regiment  of 
infantry.  After  a  contest  of  about  six  hours  duration,  the 
Confederate  left  having  been  turned,  General  Echols  with- 
drew from  the  contest  and  retired  through  Lewisburg  and 
Union,  crossing  Salt  Pond  mountain.  The  Confederate  loss 
in  this  engagement  was  275;  among  the  slain  being  the  gal- 
lant Major  R.  A.  Bailey  of  the  22nd  regiment,  and  among  the 
wounded  was  the  brave  and  daring  Captain  John  K.  Thomp- 
son of  the  same  regiment.  The  Federal  loss  was  119.  Wliile 
General  Echols  was  engaged  in  the  battle  of  Droop  Mountain, 
a  force  of  about  1,000  men  under  the  Federal  Brigadier  Gen- 
eral A.  N.  DuflSe,  was  advancing  upon  the  Kanawha  road  to 
Lewisburg,  and  which  threatened  to  cut  off  or  intercept 
Echol's  retreat.  The  force  from  the  Kanawha  left  Charleston 
on  the  3rd  of  November,  and  entered  Lewisburg  on  the  morn- 
ing of  the  7th,  a  few  hours  after  the  command  of  General 
Echols  had  passed  that  point. 

General  DuflSe  on  his  way  from  the  Kanawha,  was  joined  at 
Tyree's  by  Colonel  White  with  two  regiments  of  infantry,  and 
on  reaching  Lewisburg  joined  General  Averill's  forces,  bring- 
ing their  aggregate  up  to  about  5,000  men.  The  Federals  fol- 
lowed the  retreating  troops  of  Echols  to  Second  Creek  in 
Monroe  County,  and  then  retraced  their  steps  by  way  of 
Meadow  Bluff,  and  in  the  direction  of  Beverly. 

General  Averill,  seemingly  not  satisfied  with  his  previous 
attempts  to  reach  the  Virginia  and  Tennessee  Railroad,  set  out 
again  for  that  purpose  from  New  Creek  on  the  8th  day  of 
December  with  about  the  same  command  and  same  number  of 
men  that  he  had  with  him  in  the  battle  of  Droop  Mountain. 
This  time  he  struck  for  Salem,  Virginia,  by  the  most  obscure 
and  mountainous  routes  he  could  find.  He  reached  Salem  on 
the  16th,  destroyed  some  portions  of  the  railroad  track  and 
small  bridges,  burned  a  considerable  quantity  of  Confederate 
commissary  stores,  and  retired  beyond  tlie  mountains  with  a 
loss  of  119  men.    At  the  time  of  Averill's  advance  to  Salem, 

1861-1865  271 

General  Scammon  from  the  Kanawha,  had  advanced  to  and 
occupied  Lewisburg,  but  soon  retired. 

Wharton's  command  had  marched  from  about  Covington 
late  in  1863  to  the  Narrows,  and  from  thence  by  way  of  Dublin 
to  East  Tennessee,  where  it  joined  General  Longstreet's  com- 
mand ;  retiring  with  it  to  the  neighborhood  of  Bristol,  took  up 
winter  quarters  at  Saltville,  where  it  remained  until  about  the 
1st  of  May,  1864,  when  it  moved  to  the  Valley  of  Virginia. 

General  McCausland's  command,  36th  and  60th  Virginia 
regiments,  and  other  troops,  including  Bryan's  battery  win- 
tered at  the  Narrows,  while  the  brigade  of  Echols  spent  the 
winter  in  Monroe  County.  The  cavalry  brigade  of  Jenkins 
during  the  winter  was  for  the  most  part  on  outpost  duty  in 
connection  with  the  two  Thurmond  companies.  A  part,  how- 
ever, of  Jenkins'  men  were  in  East  Tennessee,  where  on  the 
13th  day  of  November,  1863,  Corn's  8th  Virginia  cavalry  had  a 
spirited  engagement  with  the  enemy,  in  connection  with  Colonel 
Giltner's  Kentucky  cavalry,  in  which  the  enemy  was  defeated 
with  loss;  the  8th  Virginia  regiment  losing  one  killed  and 
three  wounded,  and  capturing  the  enemy's  wagon  train  and 
over  300  prisoners.  In  December,  1863,  Colonel  Slemp's  64th 
Virginia  regiment,  was  driven  with  loss  out  of  Jonesville,  Vir- 
ginia, by  the  16th  Illinois  cavalry.  With  the  closing  of  these 
as  the  principal  events  the  campaign  in  Western  Virginia  and 
in  East  Tennessee  ended  for  the  year  of  1863. 

General  Lee's  army  of  Northern  Virginia,  on  its  return  from 
Gettysburg,  had  encamped,  as  heretofore  stated,  at  Bunker's 
Hill,  and  in  that  vicinity.  On  the  9th  of  July  Pickett's  divis- 
ion turned  over  the  Federal  prisoners,  which  were  captured 
at  Gettysburg,  to  the  command  of  General  Imboden,  and 
reached  camp  at  Bunker's  Hill  on  the  15th,  where  it  remained 
until  the  19th,  and  then  removed  to  Smith  field,  in  Jefferson 
County.  On  the  20th  it  marched  to  Millwood,  and  thence  to 
Berry's  Ferry  on  picket  duty,  and  from  here  on  the  21st 
marched  through  Front  Royal  to  Chester  Gap.  On  the  22nd 
it  marched  all  night,  reaching  Gaines'  Cross-roads  at  daylight 

272  New  River  Settlements 

on  the  23rd,  and  tliat  night  bivouaced  at  Hazel  River.  On  the 
24th  it  passed  tlirough  Culpeper  Court  House  and  went  into 
camp  near  the  Rapidan.  On  August  4th  Longstreet's  and 
Hill's  corps  crossed  to  the  South  side  of  the  Rapidan,  and  went 
into  camp  in  the  County  of  Orange. 

The  Federal  General  Meade,  in  command  of  the  Federal 
army  of  the  Potomac,  having  advanced  his  troops  into  Cul- 
peper County,  and  thrown  his  vanguard  out  to  the  Rapidan; 
General  Lee  made  up  his  mind  to  strike  him  by  a  flank  move- 
ment, on  his  right,  by  way  of  Madison  Court  House,  and  set 
out  with  the  army  of  Northern  Virginia  about  the  second  week 
in  October.  The  Federal  General  immediately  withdrew  north 
of  the  Rappahannock,  and  finally  behind  Bull  Run,  whither  Lee 
followed,  and  then  retired  to  his  winter  quarters  in  Orange. 
The  principal  fighting  on  this  expedition  was  by  the  cavalry. 
Longstreet's  corps,  except  Pickett's  division,  had,  on  the  9th 
of  September,  been  detached  from  the  army  of  Northern  Vir- 
ginia and  sent  to  General  Bragg,  in  Tennessee,  and  therefore 
was  not  with  General  Lee  in  his  advance  against  General 
Meade  in  October,  On  the  return  of  General  Lee's  army  to  its 
quarters  in  Orange,  Pickett's  division  was  sent  to  Taylorsville, 
Virginia,  to  rest  and  recuperate.  It  spent  the  early  part  of 
the  winter  at  this  place. 

Captain  David  A.  French,  with  a  section  of  his  battery,  and 
other  troops  under  the  command  of  Colonel  A.  W.  Starke,  on 
August  5th,  1863,  marched  to  Blake's  farm,  near  Deep  Bottom 
on  James  River,  where  quite  a  severe  engagement  took  place 
with  Federal  gunboats,  which  were  driven  otf ;  after  which  the 
command  marched  to  Pickett's  farm  at  Turkey  Island,  where 
the  attack  was  renewed  on  the  Federal  boats.  In  these  engage- 
ments, the  loss  in  French's  company  was  three  wounded,  viz: 
Boston  Bailey,  Henley  Clyburn,  and  Eustace  Gibson,  the  lat- 
ter reported  to  have  been  mortally  wounded,  but  he  recovered 
and  lived  for  many  years,  and  became  a  prominent  man  in 
West  Virginia  politics,  having  served  two  terms  in  Congress 
from  the  Huntington  district. 

1861-1865  273 

General  Pickett  having  been  assigned  to  the  command  of  the 
department  of  North  Carolina,  Kemper's  brigade,  now  com- 
manded by  Colonel  Joseph  Mayo,  Jr.,  (Kemper  having  been 
disabled  at  Gettysburg),  on  the  8th  day  of  January,  1864, 
broke  camp  at  Taylorsville,  and  took  up  its  line  of  march 
through  Kichmond  and  on  to  Petersburg,  where  it  was  put 
aboard  a  railroad  train  and  transported  to  Goldsboro,  North 
Carolina,  where  it  remained  but  a  few  days.  On  Saturday, 
the  29th,  the  brigade  marched  to  Kingston  on  the  Neuse,  and 
thence  through  bogs,  swamps,  and  mud,  crossing  the  Trent  to 
the  vicinity  of  Newberne,  where  some  Federal  prisoners  were 
taken  and  a  gunboat  blown  up  by  Lieutenant  Wood,  of  the 
Confederate  Navy.  Among  the  captured  prisoners  were  some 
35  of  the  2nd  Loyal  North  Carolina  regiment,  and  who  had 
been  Confederate  soldiers,  but  had  deserted  and  joined  the 
enemy.  They  were  recognized,  sent  to  Kinston,  tried  by 
Court  Martial,  condemned  and  hung.  About  the  middle  of 
February,  1864,  the  brigade  moved  to  Goldsboro,  where  it  re- 
mained until  the  5th  of  March,  when  it  was  transported  by 
rail  to  Wilmington,  and  from  that  place  by  steamer  to  Smith- 
field,  at  the  mouth  of  the  Cape  Fear.  The  24th  Virginia  regi- 
ment was  sent  to  garrison  Fort  Caswell,  the  remaining  regi- 
ments were  in  bivouac  near  the  town  of  Smithfleld.  Leaving 
the  latter  named  place  on  Friday,  March  25th,  by  steamer,  the 
brigade  reached  Wilmington  on  the  morning  of  the  2Cjt\\,  to 
find  the  ground  covered  with  snow,  which  increased  in  depth 
as  the  train  carrying  the  men  receded  from  the  coast.  The 
brigade  debarked  from  the  cars  at  Goldsboro,  where  it  went 
into  bivouac,  and  remained  until  Friday,  April  1st,  when  it 
again  set  off,  marching  through  snow  and  mud  to  Tarboro, 
which  was  reached  on  the  3rd;  the  distance  marched  being 
fifty  miles  in  less  than  three  days.  On  the  10th  orders  were 
issued  to  be  ready  to  move,  and  on  the  morning  of  the  15th  the 
command  began  its  march  down  the  Tar  through  Greenville, 
and  across  to  the  Roanoke,  to  the  vicinity  of  Plymouth,  which 
was  reached  on  the  evening  of  the  17th.     The  Confederate 

274  New  River  Settlements 

troops  engaged  in  this  enterprise  were  Ransom's  and  Hoke's 
North  Carolina  brigades  and  Kemper's  Virginia  brigade,  all 
commanded  by  Brigadier  General  Robert  F,  Hoke.  The  Fed- 
eral troops  holding  the  town  of  Plymouth,  consisted  of  the 
10th  Connecticut  regiment,  2nd  Massachusetts  heavy  artillery, 
2nd  North  Carolina,  companies  B  and  E,  12th  New  York  cav- 
alry, companies  A  and  F,  85th  New  York,  24th  New  York  bat- 
tery, 101st  Pennsylvania,  and  103  Pennsylvania;  aggregating 
2834  men,  all  under  the  command  of  Brigadier  General  Wes- 
ells.  The  fight  opened  on  the  evening  of  the  17th,  and  con- 
tinued until  10  o'clock  A.  M.  on  the  20th,  when  General  Wes- 
ells  surrendered  himself  and  troops  to  the  Confederates  as 
prisoners  of  war.  The  Confederate  Ram  Albemarle  came  down 
the  Roanoke  on  the  19th  and  joined  in  the  attack,  greatly  aid- 
ing in  the  success  of  the  battle.  The  Confederates  lost  about 
300  men.  Colonel  Mercer,  of  the  21st  Georgia  of  Hoke's  brigade, 
being  among  the  slain.  Company  D  of  the  7th  Virginia  lost 
A.  L.  Fry,  and  John  W.  East,  wounded. 

After  only  a  few  hours  rest,  General  Hoke,  on  the  evening 
of  the  same  day  on  which  Plymouth  had  fallen,  turned  the 
head  of  his  column  toward  Washington  on  the  Pamlico 
Sound,  which  point  he  reached  that  night,  and  immediately 
prepared  to  take  it  by  assault;  when  on  the  next  morning  it 
was  found  that  the  enemy  had  evacuated  the  place  and  retired 
upon  Newberne,  whither  General  Hoke  immediately  marched, 
and  made  ready  to  assault  that  place;  from  which,  however, 
he  was  recalled  on  the  6th  day  of  May  with  hurry  orders  to  go 
to  the  defense  of  Petersburg,  now  threatened,  and  about  to  be 
assailed  by  the  Federal  General  Butler,  who  had  landed  at 
City  Point  on  the  James  with  a  large  army  and  was  advanc- 
ing upon  the  city.  General  Hoke,  at  the  head  of  his  com- 
mand, left  the  front  of  Newberne  on  the  6th  day  of  May,  1864, 
and  by  a  rai)id  march  passed  through  Petersburg  before  noon 
of  Thursday,  the  12th,  a  distance  of  nearly  175  miles  by  the 
route  traveled.  Mr.  D.  H.  Hill,  Jr.,  in  his  Confederate  Military 
History   of  North   Carolina,   on   page  248,   speaking   of  this 

1861-1865  275 

march  of  General  Hoke  from  Newberne  to  Petersburg,  says: 
"This  march  of  General  Hoke's  troops  stands  at  West  Point 
as  the  most  rapid  movement  of  troops  on  record."  These 
troops  of  Hoke  moved  across  the  Appomattox  and  out  to  Swift 
Creek,  and  formed  in  line  of  battle,  and  lay  upon  their  arms  the 
night  of  the  12th.  On  movang  forward  on  the  morning  of  the 
13th,  it  was  found  that  the  enemy  had  drawn  his  lines  back 
towards  Bermuda  Hundreds,  and  the  Confederates  were  al- 
lowed to  pursue  their  way  along  the  turnpike  in  the  direction 
of  Richmond;  halting,  however,  within  the  defences  of  Drury's 

The  armies  of  Lee  and  Grant  were  in  a  death  grapple  at 
Spottsylvania,  and  no  help  could  come  from  Lee's  army, 
proper,  to  meet  General  Butler's  menace  against  Richmond 
and  Petersburg. 

General  Beauregard  had  hastened  up  from  the  South,  with 
all  troops  from  his  military  district  that  could  be  spared,  so 
that  by  the  15th  he  had  assembled  an  army  in  and  around 
Petersburg  and  the  defenses  of  Drury's  Bluff,  aggregating  a 
little   more    tlian    13,000    men.      Immediately    organizing    his 
troops  into  divisons,  he  prepared  to  attack  the  enemy,  who 
had  now  drawn  his  lines  closely  up  to  and  around  the  Drury's 
Bluff  defenses.     Beauregard's  left  division,  under  Major  Gen- 
eral Robert  Ransom,  and  which  was  to  lead  the  attack,  was 
composed  of  Grade's  Alabama  brigade,  Hoke's  North  Caro- 
lina brigade,  commanded  by  Colonel  Lewis,  Barton's  Virginia 
brigade  by  Colonel  Fry,  and  Kemper's  Virginia  brigade  com- 
manded by  Colonel  Terry.    At  two  o'clock  A.  M.  on  Monday, 
the  16th,  the  various  commands  moved  to  the  respective  places 
assigned  them.     Among  the  batteries  of  artillery  assigned  to 
and  which  fought  with  General  Ransom's  division,  was  that  of 
Captain  David  A.  French,  commanded  in  the  early  morning 
of  that  day  by  Lieutenant  Daniel  W.  Mason.     Its  losses  were 
as    follows,    viz :      Wounded,    Hugh    Hurley,    William    Kelly, 
Charles  E.  Pack,  D.  C.  Robinson,  and  William  Woodyard.     It 
may  be  here  noted  that  this  battery  under  the  command  of 

270  New  River  Settlements 

Captain  French,  with  Armistead's,  and  some  infantry  sup- 
ports, all  under  the  command  of  Colonel  Starke,  on  tlie  6th 
day  of  May,  18G4,  had  quite  a  spirited  engagement  with  the 
enemy's  gunboats  on  the  James,  driving  them  off  without  loss 
to  tlie  Confederates. 

Before  daylight  on  the  morning  of  the  10th  of  May,  1864, 
Ransom's  division  of  four  brigades,  19  regiments,  opened  the 
battle  on  the  Confederate  left,  which  was  immediately  taken 
up  along  the  whole  line,  and  raged  with  varying  fortune  for 
several  hours,  but  resulted  in  the  defeat  of  the  enemy,  and 
his  withdrawal  and  retirement  within  his  fortified  lines  at 
Bermuda  Hundreds,  with  a  loss  of  about  4500,  that  of  the  Con- 
federates being  2827.  The  loss  in  Kemper's  brigade  of  four 
regiments,  the  3rd  Virginia  being  on  detached  duty  in  North 
Carolina,  and  did  not  reunite  with  the  brigade  until  the  28th 
of  June,  was  57  killed,  264  wounded;  the  loss  in  the  1st  Vir- 
ginia was  12  killed,  25  wounded;  in  the  7th  regiment  2  killed, 
37  wounded;  in  the  11th  regiment,  15  killed,  94  wounded;  in 
the  24th  regiment,  28  killed,  108  wounded;  among  the  latter 
the  gallant  Lieutenant  Colonel  Richard  L.  Maury,  seriously, 
and  Major  Joseph  Hambrick,  mortally,  the  former  falling  with- 
in a  few  steps  of  the  enemy's  line  of  works.  Company  D  of  the 
7th  lost  John  W.  East  and  John  S.  Dudley,  wounded;  and 
the  Mercer  company  of  the  24th  regiment  lost  James  Callo- 
way, F.  M.  Mullins,  Joseph  Stovall,  and  George  Smiley  killed, 
and  Harvey  G.  White,  and  others  whose  names  the  author  has 
been  unable  to  secure,  wounded. 

Kemper's  brigade  captured  four  flags,  and  458  prisoners. 
Including  Brigadier  General  Heckman,  of  New  Jersey,  who 
was  captured  by  Sergeant  Blakey  of  company  F,  7th  regiment, 
General  Heckman  surrendering  his  sword  and  pistols  to  Col- 
onel C.  C.  Flowerree,  of  the  7th  regiment.  An  account  of  the 
charge  of  Kemper's  brigade  in  this  battle,  the  capture  of  the 
Federal  General  Heckman  by  Sergeant  Blakey,  and  the  flag 
of  the  23rd  Massachusetts  regiment  by  the  7th  Virginia  regi- 
ment has  been  written  and  published  by  Mr.  Tristram  Griflith, 

1861-1865  277 

of  a  IMassachusetts  regiment,  and  who  was  a  participant  in 
this  battle.  He  writes  as  follows:  "During  the  night  of  the 
15th  General  Beauregard  moved  Ransom's  division  from  its 
position  in  reserve  on  the  Turnpike,  in  rear  of  his  center,  to 
his  left,  crossed  Kingsland  Creek  by  the  Old  Stage  Road  and  by 
daylight  of  the  morning  of  the  16th  had  them  in  a  double  line 
of  battle  in  an  open  field  with  their  left  well  overlapping  the 
right  of  the  Union  line.  At  early  dawn  in  a  dense  fog  that 
made  it  impossible  to  distinguish  friend  from  foe.  Ransom's 
division  moved  forward  and  by  a  right  half  wheel  attempted 
to  crush  Butler's  right,  get  possession  of  the  road  to  his  base 
of  supplies,  and  destroy  his  army.  The  23rd  Alabama  bat- 
talion and  the  41st  Alabama  regiment  deployed  as  a  heavy 
line  of  skirmishers  well  to  the  left  of  the  line  of  advance,  and 
the  60th  Alabama  on  the  left  of  the  first  line  swung  around  the 
right  of  the  Union  line,  took  the  seven  companies  of  the  9th 
New  Jersey  posted  on  the  right  of  the  Old  Stage  Road  in  front 
and  flank,  killing  and  wounding  ten  officers  and  120  men,  and 
drove  them  from  their  position  to  the  rear.  The  23rd  Alabama 
battalion  and  the  41st  Alabama  regiment  by  this  time  massed 
into  a  strong  line  of  battle,  swung  to  the  left,  passed  down  the 
road  nearly  to  the  Gregory  house,  Heckraan's  headquarters, 
and  halted.  The  60th  Alabama  passed  over  the  few  logs 
thrown  up  during  the  night  by  the  9th  New  Jersey,  and  when 
the  right  touched  the  Old  Stage  Road  they,  too,  halted.  The 
43rd  and  59th  Alabama  on  the  right  of  the  60th  struck  the 
Federal  line  of  battle  in  front  of  the  23rd  and  27th  Massachu- 
setts. Before  reaching  the  edge  of  the  woods  tliey  became 
demoralized,  and  General  Gracie,  who  commanded  them,  sent 
word  to  the  line  in  rear  for  assistance.  Kemper's  brigade  ad- 
vanced to  the  help  of  General  Gracie.  The  24th  and  the  11th 
Virginia  of  Kemper's  brigade  passed  over  the  43rd  and  59th 
Alabama,  and  went  into  the  edge  of  the  woods  within  a  hun- 
dred feet  of  the  Federal  line,  where  they  lost  their  organiza- 
tion, and  lay  down  to  escape  the  heavy  fire.  The  7th  and  the 
1st  of  Kemper's  brigade,  on  the  left  of  the  24th  and  11th  Vir- 

278  New  River  Settlements 

giniu,  passed  over  about  the  same  ground  as  did  the  23rd 
Alabama  battalion  and  60th  Alabama.  The  right  flank  of  the 
1st  Virginia  struck  the  two  companies  of  the  9tli  New  Jersey, 
who,  unconscious  that  the  seven  companies  of  their  regiment 
on  the  right  of  the  road  had  been  driven  to  the  rear,  and  that 
their  right  flank  was  exposed,  were  bravely  holding  their  posi- 
tion. Without  obeying  the  order  to  surrender,  and  without 
■sending  v/ord  to  the  23rd  Massachusetts,  across  the  little  brook 
on  their  left  they  ran  pell-mell  down  the  road  into  the  rear 
of  the  41st  Alabama,  where  in  astonishment  they  surrendered. 
The  1st  Virginia  passing  over  the  light  log  work  built  by  the 
Jersey  men,  took  a  right  half  wheel  through  the  woods  and 
brush,  crossed  the  little  brook,  when  their  right  flank  came 
unexpectedly  among  the  men  of  Company  G  on  the  right  flank 
of  the  23rd  Massachusetts.  Captain  Raymond,  who  had  just 
taken  command  of  the  23rd,  Colonel  Chambers  having  been 
sent  to  the  rear,  mortally  wounded,  was  near  the  right  of  the 
line.  The  first  intimation  he  had  that  our  right  had  been 
turned,  was  w^hen  he  saw  the  Confederates  among  the  men 
of  his  company,  and  heard  them  calling  out,  ''surrender!"  He 
instantly  gave  the  order,  ''Change  front  to  rear  on  left  com- 
j)any,"  but,  in  the  thick  wood  and  fog  and  the  confusion  of 
battle  the  order  was  not  understood.  The  men  broke  back  as 
they  saw  those  on  their  right  go,  leaving  all  but  two  of  their 
right  flank  company  in  the  hands  of  the  enemy.  The  color 
guard  and  colors  kept  together  and  about  150  feet  in  the  rear 
of  the  line  came  in  contact  with  the  left  of  the  1st  Virginia, 
who  gave  them  a  volley,  killing  and  wound  several  of  the  men. 
Corporal  Charles  D.  Fernald,  carrying  the  State  colors,  moved 
back  toward  the  old  line  of  battle,  and  joined  a  group  of  the 
men  of  the  regiment  centered  around  Lieutenant  Wheeler,  of 
Heckman's  staff.  Lieutenant  Wheeler  being  just  then  mortally 
wounded  and  some  one  calling  out  ''Ralley  on  the  27th,"  Fernald 
and  some  others  moved  in  that  direction  and  joined  the  right 
of  that  regiment.  Colonel  Lee,  of  the  27th,  had  been  informed 
that  lh(;re  was  trouble  on  the  right  by  several  of  the  men  and 

1861-1865  279 

officers  of  the  23rd  who  ran  by  him.  Doubting  the  report,  he 
passed  to  the  right  of  his  regiment  to  investigate,  and  about 
twenty  feet  beyond  he  found  himself  surrounded  by  the  ad- 
vancing enemy,  to  whom  he  was  obliged  to  surrender. 

"Let  us  now  go  back  to  the  advance  of  Kemper's  brigade  to 
the  assistance  of  General  Gracie,  and  follow  the  course  of  the 
7th  Virginia,  as  this  regiment  played  an  important  part  in  the 
capture  of  General  Heckman,  and  the  State  flag  of  the  23rd 
Massachusetts.  When  the  1st  Virginia  entered  the  woods, 
passed  up  the  Old  Stage  Road  over  the  position  vacated  by 
the  two  companies  of  the  9th  New  Jersey,  and  wheeled  to  the 
right  toward  the  right  flank  of  the  23rd  Massachusetts,  the 
7th  Virginia  advancing  on  their  left,  struck  a  bog  that  sepa- 
rated the  two  or  three  left  flank  companies  from  the  rest  of 
the  regiment,  and  left  them  in  the  rear  at  the  edge  of  the 
woods.  When  Colonel  Flowerree  was  informed  of  the  fact, 
he  sent  his  Adjutant,  John  H.  Parr,  after  them  to  return  them 
to  their  places  in  line,  while  he  continued  to  move  forward 
with  his  regiment  around  the  Federal  right  flank.  In  wheeling 
to  the  right  and  just  after  crosing  the  Old  Stage  Road,  this 
regiment  captured  General  Heckman.  The  General,  taking 
this  advancing  regiment  for  reinforcements,  was  about  to 
order  it  to  change  front,  when  seeing  his  mistake,  he  tried  to 
pass  himself  off  for  a  rebel  officer.  Sergeant  Blakey,  of  Com- 
pany G  of  the  7th  Virginia,  could  not  be  fooled,  and  tbe 
General  declining  to  surrender  to  anyone  but  a  line  oflicer, 
was  marched  by  Blakey  to  Colonel  Flowerree,  to  whom  General 
Heckman  gave  up  his  sword. 

"To  go  back  to  John  H.  Parr  and  the  two  or  three  com- 
panies of  the  7th  Virginia,  which  he  found  stuck  in  the  bog 
at  the  edge  of  the  woods;  he  moved  them  to  the  left  around 
the  bog  and  led  the  way  through  the  woods  in  an  effort  to 
overtake  his  regiment.  Mistaking  his  course,  he  took  a  much 
shorter  wheel,  which  brought  him,  with  his  two  or  three  com- 
panies, around  the  left  flank  of  the  1st  Virginia,  and  upon 

280  New  River  Settlements 

the  right  rear  of  the  27th  Massachusetts,  just  after  the 
23rd  Massachusetts  had  broken  to  the  rear,  and  at  just 
the  moment  when  the  11th  Virginia,  and  detachments  form- 
ing the  59th  Alabama,  who  were  lying  down  in  the  edge  of 
the  woods,  and  who  noticing  from  the  Federal  line  in 
their  front  that  the  firing  had  ceased,  moved  forward  and 
joined  the  1st  Virginia,  passing  over  the  ground  just  vacated 
by  the  23rd  Massachusetts,  upon  the  right  flank  of  the  27th 
Massachusetts,  It  was  these  rebel  regiments  that  Colonel  Lee 
walked  into  when  he  stepped  to  the  right  of  his  regiment  to 
see  if  the  23rd  Massachusetts  had  fallen  back.  When  Colonel 
Lee  had  surrendered,  Adjutant  John  H.  Parr,  of  the  7th  Vir- 
ginia, who  had  led  the  two  or  three  companies  of  his  regiment 
around  the  Federal  right  flank,  rushed  forward  and  seized  the 
staff  of  the  State  flag  of  the  23rd  Massachusetts,  carried  by 
Corporal  Charles  G.  Fernald." 

The  morning  succeeding  the  battle,  Kemper's  brigade,  with 
other  troops,  pursued  the  enemy  to  Howlett's  house  on  the 
James,  where  there  was  an  unfinished  Confederate  earthwork. 
The  1st  and  7th  regiments  were  sent  to  hold  these  earthworks. 
The  enemy's  gunboats  in  the  river  opened  on  the  works,  and 
continued  the  shelling  throughout  the  evening  and  night.  Dur- 
ing the  shelling  Major  Howard,  of  the  1st  regiment,  and 
Sergeant  Thomas  Fox,  of  the  same  regiment,  were  seriously 
wounded.  On  the  next  morning,  the  18th,  Lieutenant  John 
W.  Mullins,  of  company  D  of  the  7th,  in  command  of  the  skirm- 
ish line,  received  a  wound  from  which  he  died  on  the  22nd 
day  of  the  succeeding  month. 

Withdrawing  on  the  evening  of  the  18th,  the  brigade  march- 
ed to  the  neighborhood  of  Manchester,  bivouaced  for  the  night, 
and  next  morning  marched  through  Richmond  to  the  station 
of  the  Fredericksburg  and  Potomac  Railroad;  placed  aboard 
flat  cars  and  moved  to  ^Vlilford  station,  debarked,  moved 
across  the  Mattaponi  and  bivouaced.  There  were  present  of 
the  brigade  at  Milford,  on  the  morning  of  the  21st  of  May, 

1861-1865  281 

about  60  men  of  the  1st  Virginia,  seven  companies  of  the  11th 
Virginia,  numbering  about  225,  and  the  7th  Virginia,  number- 
ing about  250,  making  an  aggregate  of  535,  About  ten  o'clock 
A.  M.,  there  was  a  call  to  arms,  and  report  of  the  approach  of 
a  body  of  Federal  cavalry,  supposed  to  be  a  mere  raiding  party, 
but,  as  subsequently  developed,  was  the  Federal  cavalry  divi- 
sion of  General  Torbett,  leading  the  advance  of  General 
Grant's  army  from  Spottsylvania  Court  House  toward  Rich- 
mond. After  a  spirited  contest  of  more  than  an  hour,  in  which 
the  Federal  cavalry  charges  were  repeatedly  repulsed,  the 
troops  under  the  command  of  Major  George  F.  Norton,  of  the 
1st  regiment,  were  withdrawn  across  the  river,  dismantling 
the  bridge  to  such  an  extent  as  to  prevent  immediate  and  close 
pursuit  by  the  enemy.  The  Confederate  loss  in  this  aifair  was 
about  70,  mostly  captured,  being  unable  to  reach  the  bridge 
in  advance  of  the  enemy.  The  loss  sustained  was  mostly  in 
the  11th  regiment;  numbers  of  the  men  escaping  by  swim- 
ming the  river.  The  brigade  continued  its  movement  until  it 
joined  General  Lee's  army,  en  route  from  Spottsylvania  to 
the  North  Anna.  On  reaching  Hanover  Junction,  the  com- 
mand joined  the  remainder  of  the  brigade,  and  the  other  bri- 
gades of  Pickett's  divison.  Here  too,  was  Breckenridge's  divi- 
sion from  the  valley,  fresh  from  the  victorious  field  of  New 

The  division  of  Pickett,  again  united,  marched  with  the 
army  to  Cold  Harbor,  taking  position  in  the  battle  line  on  the 
left  of  Hoke's  division,  which  on  the  3rd  of  June,  in  co-opera- 
tion with  Breckenridge's,  bore  the  brunt  of  the  Federal  as- 
sault, in  which  General  Grant  lost  about  as  many  men  in 
twenty  minutes  as  Hoke  and  Breckenridge  had  in  their  com- 

In  this  battle  of  Cold  Harbor,  Pickett's  men  had  but  little  or 
no  part,  beyond  severe  skirmishing,  and  receiving  a  heavy 
shelling  from  the  enemy.  As  a  matter  of  fact.  General  Lee  had 
succeeded  in  repulsing  the  larger  part  of  General  Grant's 
army  with  only  a  small  part  of  his  own.    It  is  stated  that  the 

282  New  River  Settlements 

Federal  loss  in  the  assault  on  June  3rd,  was  12,737,  while  the 
Confederates  lost  less  than  2,000  men. 

On  the  march  from  Milford  station  to  Hanover  junction, 
John  A.  Hale,  of  Company  I>,  7th  regiment,  with  a  comrade 
from  the  regiment,  broke  completel}^  down,  and  found  them- 
selves within  the  enemy's  lines  where  they  remained  for  two 
or  three  days.  Hungry  and  starving,  they  ventured  to  a  dwell- 
ing to  obtain  food ;  finding  there  a  Federal  soldier  on  the  same 
errand,  they  captured  him  and  took  him  along  with  them, 
until  they  got  within  the  Confederate  lines. 

In  this  battle  of  Cold  Harbor,  there  were  in  Breckenridge's 
division  a  number  of  New  River  Valley  men,  belonging  to  com- 
panies of  the  23rd  Virginia  battalion,  26th  Virginia  battalion 
and  30th  Virginia  battalion.  Very  considerable  losses  in  killed 
and  wounded  was  suffered  by  these  commands,  but  in  the  ab- 
sence of  official  data  it  cannot  be  given.  Lieutenant  James 
K.  Peck,  of  the  23rd  Virginia  battalion,  and  a  Giles  County 
man,  was  killed ;  and  Colonel  George  Edgar,  commanding  the 
26th  battalion,  -was  wounded  by  a  bayonet  thrust  and  captured. 
Captain  James  Dunlap,  of  Monroe,  and  Lieutenant  W.  W. 
George,  of  Mercer,  were  also  captured. 

In  a  few  days  after  the  battle  of  Cold  Harbor,  General  Breck- 
enridge,  with  his  division,  marched  for  the  Valley  of  Virginia, 
to  meet  the  army  of  General  Hunter,  now  endeavoring  to  reach 
Lynchburg.  On  the  12th  of  June  General  Lee  detached  his 
2nd  army  corps  under  Lieutenant  General  Early,  and  pushed 
it  to  Lynchburg.  The  retreat  of  Hunter  and  the  operations  of 
Early's  command  and  that  of  General  Breckenridge,  will  be 
taken  up  in  relating  the  campaigns  of  1864  in  Western  Vir- 
ginia, Southwestern  Virginia,  in  the  Valley,  and  in  Maryland. 

General  Grant,  convinced  of  his  inability  to  enter  Richmond 
on  the  line  he  was  traveling,  on  the  night  of  the  12th  of  June 
changed  his  course,  moving  direct  for  the  James,  followed  by 
the  Confederates  marching  on  parallel  lines.  The  line  of 
march  of  Pickett's  division,  carried  it  over  the  old  battle 
ground  of  Gaines'  mill,  crossing  the  Chickahominy  over  Mc- 

1861-1865  283 

Clellan's  bridge  near  Seven  Pines,  and  halting  near  the  bat- 
tle field  of  Frazier's  farm;  on  the  15th  marched  up  Darby- 
town  road  a  short  distance  and  went  into  bivouac.  Daybreak 
on  the  morning  of  the  16th  found  the  division  in  line  and  on  the 
march  to  the  James  at  Cafiln's  Bluff,  where  it  crossed  the 
river  on  a  pontoon  bridge;  passing  over  the  battle  field  of 
Drury's  Bluff  on  to  the  Turnpike  road;  and  had  reached  a 
jjoint  near  Walthall  Junction,  where  the  head  of  the  column 
was  unexpectedly  fired  into  by  the  enemy,  who  had  gained 
possession  of  the  road.  The  division  was  quickly  formed  in 
battle  line,  and  sending  ahead  a  strong  skirmish  line,  drove 
the  enemy  beyond  the  first  line  of  earthworks,  which  had 
that  morning  been  evacuated  by  the  Confederate  troops,  who 
had  been  called  to  the  defense  of  Petersburg.  About  four 
o'clock,  P.  M.,  the  divison  charged  along  the  whole  line,  re- 
taking the  whole  outer  line  erected  by  General  Beauregard's 
troops  before  their  removal  to  Petersburg.  This  assault  was 
not  without  loss,  and  brought  from  General  Lee  to  Major  Gen- 
eral Anderson,  the  corps  commander,  General  Longstreet  hav- 
ing been  severely  wounded  in  the  battle  of  the  Wilderness,  the 
following  letter: 

''General : — I  take  great  pleasure  in  presenting  to  you  my 
congratulation  upon  the  conduct  of  the  men  of  your  corps.  I 
believe  that  they  will  carry  anything  they  are  put  against. 
We  tried  very  hard  to  stop  Pickett's  men  from  capturing  the 
breastworks  of  the  enemy,  but  couldn't  do  it.  I  hope  his  loss 
has  been  small." 

The  brigade  loss  was  about  twenty  killed  and  wounded.  In 
the  7th  regiment.  Sergeant  William  Parrott,  of  Company  I, 
Corporal  J.  B.  Young,  of  Company  D,  were  severely,  and  Wil- 
liam Davis,  of  Company  C,  mortally  wounded. 

From  the  16th  day  of  June,  1864,  until  the  5th  day  of  March, 
1865,  Pickett's  division  occupied  the  line  from  Howlett's  house, 
on  the  James,  to  Swift  Creek  and  Fort  Clifton,  on  the  Appo- 
mattox.   The  minor  occurrences  within  this  period,  on,  along, 

284  New  Kiver  Settlements 

within   and   immediately   without,    the   lines   of   the   division 
would  fill  a  volume. 

The  enemy's  advance  on  the  north  side  of  the  James,  and 
his  capture  of  Fort  Harrison,  on  the  morning  of  September 
29th,  drew  to  that  side  of  the  river,  among  other  Confederate 
troops,  four  regiments  from  Pickett's  division,  including  the 
24th  Virginia  regiment,  all  under  the  command  of  Colonel 
Montague.  An  unsuccessful  assault  was  led  by  General  Hoke 
against  Fort  Harrison  on  the  morning  of  the  30th  of  Septem- 
ber, in  Avhich  the  24th  Virgiuia  suffered  severe  loss. 

The  battery  of  Captain  David  A.  French  was  also  engaged 
in  this  battle  at  Fort  Harrison,  and  met  with  the  following 
loss,  viz :  Killed,  Adam  Johnston ;  wounded.  Lieutenant  W. 
H.  Smith,  Privates  E.  W.  Charlton,  John  M.  Walker,  John 
Burton,  Joshua  Day,  Henry  Hicks,  John  Ingrahan,  and  Eras- 
tus  W.  Peck.  This  company  was  engaged  in  the  battle  of  Fus- 
sells'  Mills,  on  the  north  side  of  the  James,  on  the  19th  of 
August,  1864,  and  its  casualties  were  as  follows:  Killed, 
Henry  Stover;  wounded,  Sergeant  John  N.  Woodram,  mor- 
tally ;  H.  C.  Clyburn,  and  William  J.  Sarver.  The  Federal  loss 
in  and  around  Fussells'  Mill  was  2901,  out  of  the  2nd  and  10th 
army  corps. 

During  the  months  of  July,  August  ,vSeptember  and  October, 
the  regiments  and  brigades  of  Pickett's  division  were  frequent- 
ly shifted  along  the  line  it  Avas  holding,  and  which  has  been 
described.  Frequent  combats,  in  the  shape  of  sharpshooting, 
took  place,  and  occasionally  the  Confederate  skirmishers,  and 
twice  in  larger  body,  made  sallies  against  the  enemy's  rifle 
pits,  gathering  in  large  numbers  of  jirisoners.  On  one  of  these 
expeditions  they  swept  the  Federal  picket  line  for  several 
hundred  yards,  bringing  away  without  loss  more  tlian  one 
hundred  prisoners,  including  the  Federal  officers  in  command 
of  the  line.  For  the  most  part  of  the  period  between  June, 
1864,  and  March  5th,  1865,  the  pickets  of  the  combatants  on 
this  line  were  on  friendly  terms;  so  much  so,  that  the  Confed- 

1861-1865  285 

erate  officers  had  to  require  the  picket  firing  to  be  resumed  in 
order  to  break  up  these  friendly  relations,  which  had  been 
carried  to  the  extent  of  regular  traffic  between  the  pickets  in 
the  way  of  barter  and  exchange  of  newspapers,  tobacco,  cofifee 
and  other  articles.  In  many  places  along  the  line  the  pickets 
were  near  enough  to  each  other  that  they  could  carry  on  con- 
versation in  any  ordinary  tone  of  voice. 

The  cold  winter  winds  began  to  be  felt  in  the  close  of  the 
November  days,  and  the  men,  in  addition  to  their  bomb  proofs 
and  mud  houses  in  the  earth,  began  to  improve  them  as  far  as 
possible,  in  view  of  the  approaching  cold  weather,  by  building 
flues  or  chimneys,  and  closing  up  all  openings.  The  men  were 
not  only  thinly  clad,  but  some,  at  least,  had  but  little  clothing 
of  any  kind,  and  a  large  number  were  without  shoes;  and 
when  the  first  blasts  of  winter  came  numbers  could  be  seen 
shivering  over  the  small  fires  they  were  allowed  to  kindle. 
Famine  stared  them  in  the  face;  the  ration  being  from  one- 
eighth  to  one-fourth  of  a  pound  of  becan  and  one  pint  of 
unseived  corn  meal  per  day,  and  occasionally  a  few  beans  or 
peas.  With  empty  stomachs,  naked  bodies,  and  frozen  fingers, 
these  men  clutched  their  guns  with  an  aim  so  steady  and  dead- 
ly that  the  men  on  the  other  side  were  exceedingly  cautious 
how  they  lifted  their  heads  from  behind  their  sheltered  places. 

This  was  not  altogether  the  worst  part  of  the  situation,  for 
many  a  good  brave  Confederate  soldier  heard  in  his  rear  the 
cries  of  distrees  of  a  mother,  wife,  or  children  at  home,  whose 
needs  were  as  great  for  bread  as  his.  What  could  he  do? 
What  should  he  do?  This,  with  his  own  pitiable  condition, 
was  enough  to  break  the  strongest  heart.  It  was  too  much 
for  some,  who  broke  away  to  look  after  the  suffering  ones  at 
home.  "How  could  the  Government  do  any  better?"  was  often 
said.  Whatever  food  it  had  for  the  army  was  mostly  in  the 
far-off  South,  and  could  not  be  brought  forward,  either  for 
lack  of  transportation  or  by  reason  of  the  enemy  having  cut 
or  destroyed  the  lines  of  communication. 

The  private  soldier  received  $11.00  per  month  for  his  services 

28G  New  River  Settlements 

— about  enough  to  buy  his  tobacco.  Confederate  money  had  be- 
come worthless,  and  the  price  of  x>rovisions — that  is,  where 
any  could  be  found  for  sale — was  bevond  the  reach  of  the 
poor  soldier.  Flour  was  selling  for  |1500.00  per  barrel ;  bacon 
§20.00  per  pound,  beef  |1.5.00  a  pound,  butter  at  $20.00  a 
l)0und;  one  chicken  could  be  had  for  |50.00,  soda  |12.00  per 
pound,  common  calico  |12.()0  per  yard;  and  at  the  date,  Jan- 
uary and  February,  1865,  it  took  flOO.OO  in  the  currency  to 
buy  one  dollar  in  gold.  But  this  currency  was  all  we  had,  good, 
bad  or  indifferent — it  was  use  that  or  nothing — and  the  soldier 
had  but  little  of  it,  and  did  not  have  this  little  long.  Some  one 
wrote  on  the  back  of  $500.00  Confederate  note,  about,  or  just 
after  the  surrender  at  Appomattox,  the  following  lines : 

"Representing  nothing  on  God's  earth  now, 

And  naught  in  water  below  it, 
As  a  pledge  of  a  nation  that's  dead  and  gone, 

Keep  it,  dear  captain,  and  show  it. 
Show  it  to  those  that  will  lend  an  ear 

To  the  tale  this  paper  can  tell 
Of  liberty  born,  of  the  patriot's  dream, 

Of  a  storm-cradled  nation  that  fell. 

Too  poor  to  possess  the  precious  ore. 

And  too  much  a  stranger  to  borrow. 
We  issue  today  our  "promise  to  pay," 

And  hope  to  redeem  on  the  morrow. 
Days  roll  by,  and  weeks  became  years. 

But  our  coffers  were  empty  still; 
Coin  was  so  rare  that  the  treasury  quaked 

If  a  dollar  should  drop  in  the  till. 

But  the  faith  that  was  in  us  was  strong  indeed, 

And  our  poverty  well  we  discerned. 
And  these  little  checks  represented  the  pay 

That  our  suffering  Veterans  earned. 
We  knew  it  had  hardly  a  value  in  gold. 

Yet  as  gold  the  soldiers  received  it; 
It  gazed  in  our  eyes  with  a  promise  to  pay. 

And  each  patriot  soldier  believed  it. 

But  our  boys  thought  little  of  price  or  pay. 

Or  of  bills  that  were  over-due; 
We  knew  if  it  brought  our  bread  today 

'Twas  the  best  our  country  could  do. 
Keep  it!  It  tells  all  our  history  over, 

From  the  birth  of  the  dream  to  its  last; 
Modest,  and  born  of  the  Angel  Hope, 

Like  our  hope  of  success,  it  passed." 

1861-1865  287 

Notwithstanding  all  these  things,  these  heroic  men,  who 
loved  their  cause  better  than  life,  stood  to  their  posts,  and 
defied  the  enemy  to  the  last.  The  enemy,  by  general  orders 
and  circular  letters  which  they  managed  to  send  and  scatter 
among  the  Confederate  soldiers,  offered  all  manner  of  induce- 
ments to  have  them  desert  their  country;  but,  as  a  rule,  such 
offers  were  indignantly  spurned.  The  consecration  of  the 
Southern  women  to  the  cause  for  which  their  husbands,  sons, 
brothers,  and  sweethearts  struggled  and  suffered,  is  beyond 
the  power  of  pen  to  describe.  The  hardships  of  these  women 
were  equal  to,  and  often  greater  than  that  of  the  shivering, 
freezing,  starving  soldier  in  the  field.  They  had  not  only  given 
these  men  to  the  cause,  but,  in  fact,  themselves,  too;  for  they 
remained  at  home  and  labored  in  the  fields,  went  to  mill,  the 
blacksmith  shops,  lived  on  corn  bread  and  sorghum  molasses, 
and  gave  practicaly  every  pound  of  meat,  flour  and  all  the 
vegetables  they  could  raise  to  the  men  in  the  army,  whom  they 
encouraged  to  duty  in  every  possible  way.  They  manufactured 
largely  their  own  clothing,  out  of  material  that  they  had  pro- 
duced with  their  own  hands;  and  would  have  scorned  any 
woman  who  would  wear  northern  manufactured  goods;  and 
the  thought,  sentiment,  and  action  is  well  expressed  in  linea 
written  during  the  war: 

"Now  northern  goods  are  out  of  date, 

And  since  old  Abe's  blockade, 
We  Southern  girls  can  be  content, 

With  goods  that's  Southern  made; 
We  send  our  sweethearts  to  the  war. 

But  girls  neier  you  mind — 
Your  soldier  lover  will  not  forget 

The  girl  lie  left  behind. 

"And  now  young  man,  a  word  to  you: 

If  you  would  win  the  fair. 
Go  to  the  field  where  honor  calls 

And  win  your  lady  there; 
Remember  that  our  brightest  smiles 

Are  for  the  true  and  brave. 
And  that  our  tears  are  all  for  those 

Who  fill  the  soldier's  grave." 

Through  this  long,  cold,  dreary  winter,  Pickett's  division — 
less  than  five  thousand  strong — held  the  line  which,  in  length. 

288  New  River  Settlements 

was  not  less  than  four  miles;  being  not  many  beyond  one 
thousand  men  to  the  mile;  only  a  good  skirmish  line;  over 
which  the  enemy,  by  a  bold,  determined  charge,  could  at  any 
time  have  gone.  It  is  certain  that  if  the  Federal  line  in  front 
of  IMckett's  men  had  been  as  weak,  and  held  by  as  few  men  as 
that  of  Pickett,  they  would  have  either  been  prisoners  before 
the  1st  day  of  January,  1865,  or  have  been  driven  into  the 
James  and  drowned. 

Every  effort  was  being  put  forth  by  the  Confederate  authori- 
ties to  bring  every  available  man  to  the  field ;  the  men  from 
the  division  on  detail  or  detached  service  were  required  to 
report  to  their  respective  regiments,  and  their  places  to  be 
filled  with  those  unable  for  active  field  service.  This  order 
gave  great  concern  to  many  who  had  been  out  in  good  and 
easy  places.  Sergeant  Charles  T.  Loehr  in  his  "History  of 
the  1st  Virginia  Regiment,"  tells  of  a  Mr.  Stegar,  of  Company 
D  of  that  regiment,  who  did  not  relish  his  return  to  his  com- 
pany, and  who  wrote : 


"With  all  my  heart  I  hate  to  part. 

For  I'm  not  happy  to  be  free, 
And  it  will  surely  break  my  heart 

To  send  me  back  to  company  D. 

We  had  a  snug  detail  together, 

But  Uncle  Bob  has  clipped  our  wings. 
And  spring  will  be  but  gloomy  weather 

If  doomed  to  fight  Old  Grant  in  spring. 

Farewell,  and  when  some  sickly  fellow 

Shall  claim  this  bomb-proof  I  resign, 
And  three  miles  in  the  rear  discover 

What  ease  and  safety  once  were  mine." 

The  new  year  was  approaching;  it  was  to  bring  nothing  to 
cheer  our  aching  hearts,  but  much  to  depress  them.  No  hope 
for  peace,  nor  settlement,  or  relief  from  our  unfortunate  stiua- 
tion.  The  men  who  were  christians  prayed  earnestly  every 
day  for  the  return  of  peace  to  our  distracted  country;  and  in 
the  dead  hour  of  the  night,  often  could  be  seen  men  on  their 
knees,  engaged  in  earnest  appeals  to  God  for  our  country  and 

1861-1865  289 

for  peace.  Finally  in  the  latter  part  of  January,  1865,  there 
was  a  rift  in  the  dark  cloud  which  overhung  our  sky,  when  it 
was  announced  that  Confederate  Commissioners  were  on  their 
way  to  meet  the  Federal  President,  to  attempt  to  adjust  the 
unhappy  differences.  This  was  known  throughout  the  army, 
and  the  men  gathered  in  groups  with  faces  all  aglow  with  in- 
tense interest,  to  discuss  the  grave  question.  The  one  unani- 
mous voice  was,  settle  it,  if  possible  on  any  terms  that  are 
fair  and  honorable.  The  return  of  these  Commissioners  with 
the  report  that  no  settlement  could  be  made  other  than  down- 
right submission,  cast  a  deep  and  heavy  gloom  over  the  faces 
of  the  men,  who,  but  a  few  days  before,  had  been  happy  in  the 
hope  of  a  peaceful  and  honorable  termination  of  hostilities. 
Gloom  and  despair  were  plainly  depicted  on  the  faces  of  some 
of  the  men,  while  grim  determination  was  to  be  seen  on  the 
faces  of  others.  The  situation  is  probably  better  expressed  by 
telling  first  of  an  incident  that  happened  with  one  of  the  men 
of  the  7th  Virginia  regiment,  and  then  the  action  taken  by  a 
large  part  of  the  soldiers  in  the  way  of  meetings  and  resolu- 
tions. This  man  of  the  7th  regiment  seemed  very  much  de- 
jected and  downcast,  when  he  heard  of  the  failure  of  the  Com- 
misioners  to  make  an  adjustment  of  our  troubles,  and  one  of 
his  comrades  inquiring  of  him  as  to  what  was  his  trouble,  he 
replied:  ''Well,  the  Peace  Conference  is  a  failure,  Lincoln  has 
called  for  more  men,  and  President  Davis  says,  'war  to  the 
knife';  what  shall  we  do?" 

The  Federal  soldier  was  as  anxious  for  peace  as  the  Con- 
federate could  possibly  be.  About  the  time  of  the  return  of 
the  Peace  Commissioners  it  is  told  of  a  Federal  soldier,  that, 
in  the  presence  of  one  of  his  officers,  he  remarked  that  he  was 
anxious  for  the  war  to  close  and  for  the  return  of  peace,  and 
that  he  knew  of  a  plan  by  which  Richmond  could  be  captured, 
and  that  would  end  the  war  and  bring  peace.  His  ofiQcer  in- 
sisted upon  his  telling  what  the  plan  was  that  he  had  for  the 
capture  of  Richmond;  that  General  Grant  ought  to  know  of 
the  plan  if  feasible.     The  soldier  said  he  felt  not  only  some 

290  New  River  Settlements 

hesitancy,  but  a  delicacy  in  stating  it,  but  if  the  officer  insisted 
he  would  tell  him.  Finally,  the  officer  prevailed  on  the  soldier 
to  divulge  his  plan,  which  was  this:  "Swap  Generals;  bring 
General  Lee  over  here  and  put  him  in  command  of  this  army, 
and  he  will  have  Richmond  in  twenty-four  hours." 

As  already  stated,  on  the  return  of  the  Peace  Commissioners 
with  their  report  of  the  failure  to  settle  matters,  meetings  of 
the  soldiers  were  held  in  many  of  the  companies  and  regiments 
throughout  the  army,  to  discuss  the  situation,  in  which  reso- 
lutions were  adopted  expressive  of  their  views.  Among  the 
companies  which  held  such  meetings  was  that  of  Captain 
David  A.  French,  the  minutes  of  which  meeting  are  as  follows : 

"Darby  Town  Road,  February  6,  1865. 

At  a  meeting  convened  in  the  Stonewall  Detachment,  Cor- 
poral Charles  E.  Pack  was  called  to  the  chair,  O.  F.  Jordan 
appointed  secretary,  and  the  following  preamble  and  resolu- 
tions were  adopted : 

Whereas,  we  believe  that  the  Confederate  authorities  have 
taken  appropriate  measures  to  bring  about  an  honorable  peace 
to  the  Confederacy ; 

And  whereas,  said  measures  have  failed  to  bring  about  this 
most  desirable  result,  owing  to  obstinacy  and  tyrannical  dis- 
position of  the  Federal  authorities;  in  this,  that  they  refuse 
all  offers  of  peace,  and  will  listen  to  nothing  save  an  humble 
submission  on  the  part  of  the  Confederates : 

We,  the  members  of  the  Stonewall  Detachment,  Captain  D. 
A.  French's  battery,  do  resolve:  that  we  will  listen  to  no 
terms  the  least  degrading  to  brave  men  and  free  men.  That 
come  weal  or  woe,  we  will  now  fight  it  out  at  the  cost  of  every 
drop  of  blood  that  flows  in  our  veins ;  that  there  is  no  sacrifice 
too  dear,  no  danger  too  hazardous,  no  suffering  too  great,  that 
we  will  not  endure  for  our  country  and  cause;  and  we  pledge 
ourselves  anew  to  stand  by  our  flag  and  guns  while  the  one 
waves,  and  there  is  room  to  work  the  other." 

C.  E.  Pack^  Chairman. 
O.  F.  JoRDAN_,  Secretary. 

1861-1865  291 

During  the  fall  of  18G4,  and  the  early  part  of  the  winter  of 
that  year,  the  country  had  reached  such  a  condition  that  starv- 
ation was  not  only  staring  the  army  in  the  face,  threatening 
its  disintegration  and  disbanding,  but  the  people  at  home,  in 
many  localities,  were  suffering  for  the  very  necessaries  of 
life,and  good  people  among  them,  some  of  even  the  leading 
men,  had  reached  the  conclusion  that  the  contest  could  not 
longer  be  maintained;  they,  therefore,  were  for  peace  on  any 
terms,  and  if  the  Confederate  authorities  were  not  willing  to 
take  immediate  steps  to  that  end,  that  the  people  would  be 
placed  in  position  to  discourage  the  continuance  of  the  contest 
by  every  means  within  their  power. 

The  Federal  authorities,  including  the  commanding  officers 
of  their  armies,  as  well  as  their  spies,  emmissaries,  and  scouts, 
encouraged  the  peace  feeling  by  holding  out  all  manner  of 
inducements  to  the  people,  and  to  the  soldiers  in  the  army; 
and  by  secret  orders  and  organizations  among  our  people  and 
soldiers,  sought  to  influence  the  people  to  withdraw  their  sup- 
port from  the  armies,  and  to  encourage  the  soldiers  to  abandon 
the  cause  for  which  we  had  fought  for  nearly  four  years.  Or- 
ganizations were  found  to  exist  in  Southwestern  and  Western 
Virginia,  known  by  the  names  of:  "Heroes  of  America,"  "Red 
String,"  and  "White  String  Party,"  which  had  regular  signs 
and  pass-words.  Into  these  were  drawn,  as  reported,  some  of 
the  prominent  and  leading  citizens,  and  had  even  partly  per- 
meated the  army,  particularly  the  22nd  and  54th  Virginia 
regiments  of  infantry.  How  far  they  affected  these  organiza- 
tions, and  how  far  tlieir  influence  reached,  it  is  difficult  to  say ; 
but  it  alarmed  the  Confederate  authorities  and  was  made  the 
subject  of  investigation  by  the  Secretary  of  War,  Mr.  Seddon. 
For  a  full  history  of  this  matter  with  the  names  disclosed  of 
persons  connected  therewith,  the  reader  is  referred  to  Rebel- 
lion Records,  Series  IV,  Vol.  3,  pp.  804-16. 

Returning  to  affairs  in  Western  and  Southwestern  Virginia, 
and  resuming  the  narrative  of  events  at  the  close  of  1863,  we 

292  New  River  Settlements 

find  that  in  December  of  that  year,  the  16th  Virginia  cavalry, 
commanded  by  Colonel  Milton  J.  Ferguson,  spent  the  latter 
part  of  December,  and  a  part  of  the  following  two  months,  in 
the  Valley  of  the  Sandy,  penetrating  to  the  Kanawha  River, 
where  a  detachment  of  that  regiment,  in  February  of  1864, 
captured  a  steam  boat  on  which  was  Brigadier  General  Scam- 
mon,  of  the  Federal  army,  who  was  also  captured,  brought  out 
and  sent  to  Richmond  in  charge  of  Lieutenant  E.  G.  Vertigan, 
his  captor. 

On  January  3rd,  1863,  Brigadier  General  William  E.  Jones 
with  his  cavalry  command,  in  which,  at  the  time,  was  the  8th 
Virginia  regiment,  partly  made  up  of  Tazewell  and  Mercer 
County  men,  attacked  a  Federal  force  at  Jonesville,  Virginia, 
which  he  defeated,  capturing  385  prisoners,  killing  10,  wound- 
ing 45,  taking  three  pieces  of  artillery  and  a  number  of  wagons. 
The  8th  Virginia  lost  Lieutenant  A.  H.  Samuels  and  four  men 
killed  and  7  wounded. 

Echols'  brigade,  with  part  of  Jenkins'  cavalry,  spent  the 
winter  in  Monroe  and  Greenbrier  Counties.  McCausland's  bri- 
gade, with  the  17th  cavalry,  wintered  at  the  Narrows  and  at 
Princeton;  while  Wharton's  brigade  was  in  East  Tennessee 
and  about  Saltville. 

The  enemy  in  the  Kanawha  Valley,  early  in  the  spring,  be- 
gan to  assemble  a  force  of  infantry,  cavalry,  and  artillery, 
under  Brigadier  General  George  Crook,  for  the  purpose  of  an 
advance  towards  the  Virginia  and  Tennessee  Railroad;  and  at 
the  same  time  a  large  force  of  the  enemy  was  preparing  to 
march  up  the  Valley  of  Virginia  to  Staunton. 

Major  General  Breckenridge,  on  the  5th  of  March,  1864, 
had  relieved  General  Jones,  in  command  of  the  department  of 
Southwestern  Virginia.  In  the  latter  part  of  April  and  the 
first  days  of  May,  these  Federal  divisions  from  the  Kanawha, 
and  in  the  Valley  of  Virginia,  commenced  their  advance.  Gen- 
eral Breckenridge  was  called  to  the  Virginia  Valley,  drawing 
to  him  the  brigade  of  Echols  and  Wharton.  McCausland's 
brigade  had  also  been  ordered  to  the  Valley,  but  the  advance 

1861-1865  293 

of  General  Crook's  column  held  him  at  Dublin,  with  Jenkins' 
cavalry  brigade  at  Narrows,  with  Bryan's  battery,  Ringgold, 
and  Botetourt  artillery,  under  the  command  of  Brigadier 
General  Jenkins. 

The  Federal  cavalry  leader  in  Western  A^irginia,  Brigadier 
General  Averill,  with  2479  officers  and  men,  left  the  Kanawha 
River  above  Charleston  on  the  1st  of  May,  by  way  of  Logan 
and  Wyoming  Court  Houses,  to  Abb's  Valley  in  Tazewell 
County,  and  from  thence  on  the  road  to  Wytheville,  near 
which,  on  the  10th  of  May,  he  encountered  a  Confederate  force 
under  General  William  E  .Jones,  and  was  defeated.  In  this 
battle  was  the  16th  Virginia  cavalry  regiment  in  part  com- 
posed of  Tazewell  County  men.  The  loss  of  General  Averill 
was  100  in  killed  and  wounded,  himself  among  the  wounded. 
He  drew  off  his  troops  and  passed  down  Walker's  Creek  by 
Shannon's  and  to  Pepper's  ferry,  where  he  crossed  New  River, 
and  from  thence  proceeded  to  Blacksburg  and  Christiansburg; 
turning  northward  in  an  effort  to  follow  General  Crook,  he 
encountered  at  Gap  Mountain,  near  Newport  in  Giles  Count}', 
Jenkins'  cavalry  brigade,  and  part  of  the  troops  of  Colonel 
William  L.  Jackson,  all  under  the  command  of  Colonel  Wil- 
liam H.  French,  of  Mercer,  by  whom  he  was  driven  back,  and 
forced  to  retreat  by  a  bridle  path  over  the  mountains  into 
Monroe  County,  where  he  joined  General  Crook,  who  was 
closely  followed  by  Jackson's  command;  Colonel  French's 
troops  returning  to  the  Narrows. 

General  Crook  left  the  Kanawha  River  on  the  second  day 
of  May,  with  eleven  regiments  of  infantry,  a  part  of  two  regi- 
ments of  cavalry,  and  two  battalions  of  artillery,  aggregating 
6,155  men.  The  march  was  made  by  way  of  Fayetteville, 
Raleigh  Court  House,  Princeton,  Rocky  Gap,  and  Shannon's, 
to  Cloyd's  farm  on  Back  Creek  in  Pulaski  County;  where  on 
the  9th  of  May  he  found  the  command  of  General  Jenkins, 
consisting  of  the  36th,  45th  and  60th  Virginia  regiments  and 
45th  battalion  of  Virginia  infantry,  with  Bryan's,  Ringgold's 
and  Douthat's  Virginia  batteries,  drawn  up  in  line  of  battle 

294  New  River  Settlements 

to  meet  him ;  with  an  aggregate  force,  then,  and  that  of  Major 
Smitli,  who  joined  after  the  retreat  began,  of  less  than  3,000 
men.  The  battle  was  a  fierce  and  bloody  one,  and  lasted  for 
several  hours,  and  the  men  who  fought  this  battle  on  the 
Confederate  side  were  largely  from  the  middle  New  River 
Valley  and  from  the  upper  Clinch  waters;  they  were  from 
Tazewell,  Wythe,  Pulaski  ,Bland,  Montgomery,  Giles,  Monroe, 
Greenbrier,  Fayette,  Raleigh,  Mercer,  Boone,  Logan,  Putnam, 
€abell,  Wayne,  and  perhaps  some  from  other  Southern  West 
Virginia  Counties.  General  Jenkins  was  mortally  wounded 
and  his  command  outflanked  and  driven  from  the  field,  with  a 
loss  of  76  killed,  262  wounded,  and  200  missing.  The  loss  was 
inconsiderable  in  comparison  with  the  value  of  the  slain, 
among  whom  were  some  of  the  bravest  and  most  daring  sold- 
iers in  the  army.  Lieutenant  Colonel  Edwin  H.  Harman,  a 
brave  young  ofiicer  of  great  promise,  and  Captain  Robert  R. 
Crockett,  of  the  45th  regiment  were  killed.  Lieutenant  Colonel 
George  W.  Hammond,  Major  Jacob  N.  Taylor,  and  Captain 
Moses  jNlcClintic,  of  the  60th  Virginia,  were  killed,  and  Cap- 
tain Rufus  A.  Hale,  S.  S.  Dews,  Lieutenants  Larue,  Austin, 
Bailey,  and  Stevenson,  together  with  a  number  of  others  of  the 
60th  and  36th  Virginia  were  wounded,  as  was  Major  Thomas 
L.  Broun,  Post  Quartermaster  at  Dublin,  dangerously.  (1)  In 
this  battle,  in  the  60th  Virginia  regiment,  were  two  companies 
of  Giles  County  men,  one  of  which  was  commanded  by  that 
brave,  fearless  Irishman,  Captain  Andrew  Gott,  now  of  Mer- 
cer County.  The  men  of  Tazewell  County  in  the  45th  regiment 
suffered  heavy  loss  in  this  battle,  losing  not  only  the  gallant 
Lieutenant  Colonel  Harman,  but  numbers  of  others  killed  or 
wounded,  among  the  latter  the  brave  Captain  C.  A.  Fudge. 
Bland  County  was  also  represented  on  this  field  as  above 
stated ;  and  her  sons  distinguished  themselves   in  this  tignt. 

(1).  Rev.  Mr.  Hickman,  a  Presbyterian  minister,  was  killed  on  thi3 
field.  Judse  E.  Ward  and  Hon.  William  Prince  accompanied  the  Con- 
federate soldiers  to  this  field  and  were  under  the  enemy's  fire.  Prince, 
while  acting  as  special  messenger  and  courier,  had  his  horse  shot  un- 
der him. 

1861-1865  295 

losing  many  of  their  best  and  bravest  killed  and  wounded, 
among  the  latter  that  tall  and  heroic  youth  ,the  flag  bearer  of 
the  45th,  Andrew  Jackson  Stowers.  There  also  fell  on  this  field, 
near  which  was  once  the  home  of  their  ancestor,  three  remote 
cousins,  viz:  Lieutenant  A.  W.  Hoge  and  his  Brother  M.  J. 
Hoge  of  the  Ringgold  Virginia  battery,  and  George  D.  Pearis 
of  Bryan's  Virginia  battery. 

The  Federal  loss  in  this  battle,  in  killed  and  wounded,  was 
688.  The  Confederates  under  the  command  of  Colonel  John 
McCausland,  who  succeeded  to  the  command  on  the  wounding 
of  General  Jenkins,  retreated  by  way  of  the  railroad  bridge  to 
the  East  bank  of  New  River,  and  upon  the  crossing  of  the  Fed- 
erals at  Pepper's  ferry,  and  their  advance  to  Christiansburg, 
he  continued  his  retreat  to  the  head  waters  of  the  Roanoke. 
General  Crook  took  fright,  and  fled  across  Salt  Pond  mountain 
into  Monroe  County. 

No  braver  or  better  fight  was  ever  put  up  in  an  open  field 
by  a  body  of  men  so  largely  outnumbered.  (1)  The  coolness 
and  braverv  of  Colonel  McCausland,  and  the  skillful  manner 
in  which  he  conducted  the  retreat,  with  the  timely  arrival  of 
Major  Smith's  troops  on  the  field,  saved  the  command  from 
capture  or  destruction.  Colonel  McCausland  was  at  once,  and 
deservedly  so,  made  a  Brigadier  General,  and  placed  in  com- 
mand of  Jenkins'  cavalry  brigade. 

General  Breckenridge  hurried  down  the  Valley  of  Virginia, 
with  the  brigades  of  Echols  and  Wharton  (2)  and  other 
troops,  to  New  Market,  where,  on  the  15th  day  of  May,  he  met 
a  Federal  army  some  6,500  strong,  under  General  Sigel,  and 
with  less  than  5,000  men  defeated  it  with  a  loss  of  831 ;  the 
Confederate  loss  being  522.  Sigel  retreated,  and  Breckenridge, 
with  his  division,  moved  to  Hanover  Junction  and  joined  Gen- 
eral Lee,  leaving  General  Imboden  in  command  in  the  Valley, 
who  was  shortly  thereafter  superseded  by  Brigadier  General 

(1).  The  Federal  General  Crook  says,  in  his  report,  says:  "The 
enemy  remained  behind  their  works  until  battered  away  by  our  men." 

(2).     Mostly  New  River  Valley  men. 

296  New  River  Settlements 

William  E.  Jones,  who  took  with  him  from  Southwest  Vir- 
ginia, McCausland's  old  brigade  of  infantry,  by  which  his 
forces  were  augmented  to  about  5,000,  including,  however, 
some  local  bodies  of  militia,  with  which  to  meet  about  8,500 
Federal  troops  under  the  command  of  Major  General  David 
Hunter,  who  had  displaced  General  Sigel. 

At  Piedmont  in  the  Valley,  on  the  5th  day  of  June,  Hunter's 
forces  atacked  the  Confederates,  and  after  a  severe  and  bloody 
battle  of  more  than  five  hours  the  Confederates  were  badly  de- 
feated with  heavy  loss,  and  compelled  to  retreat  in  much  dis- 
order, closely  followed  by  the  large  body  of  the  enemy's  cavalry. 
General  Jones  was  killed  on  the  field,  and  the  loss  in  his  com- 
mand in  killed  and  wounded  was  about  500,  besides  1,000 
men  and  several  guns  captured.  (1)  In  this  battle  the  men 
from  the  New  Kiver  Valley  were  engaged  and  suffered  fear- 
fully. While  the  Confederates  were  engaged  in  this  contest, 
Generals  Crook  and  Averill,  with  8,000  to  10,000  men,  were 
rapidly  aproaching  Staunton  from  Buffalo  Gap  on  the  West, 
opposed  by  General  McCausland  with  his  brigade  and  that 
of  Colonel  William  L.  Jackson,  who  on  the  occupation  of 
Staunton  by  Hunter's  forces,  were  compelled  to  retire.  Gen- 
eral Imboden  assumed  command  of  the  Confederates  after 
the  fall  of  General  Jones,  and  retired  to  Waynesboro.  In  this 
unfortunate  engagement  the  men  from  Tazewell,  Bland,  Giles 
and  Mercer  Counties  were  heavily  engaged,  and  it  is  to  be 
regretted  that  the  names  of  those  who  fell,  killed  or  wounded, 
have  not  been  preserved.  Here  fell  the  brave  and  manly  Col- 
onel William  Henry  Brown,  of  Tazewell,  at  the  head  of  the 
45th  Virginia  regiment.  The  cause  claimed  no  nobler  sacrifice 
than  this.  He  was  born  in  Tazewell  County,  and  had  distin- 
guished himself  in  the  many  battles  in  which  his  regiment 
had  been  engaged.  The  loss  of  the  enemy  in  this  battle  was 
J500  in  killed  and  wounded.  In  the  Giles  companies  in  the 
3f)th  Virginia  regiment,  there  were,  among  others,  killed  in 
the  battle  of  Piedmont,  W.   8.  Echols,   B.   Newton   Snidow, 

(1).     The  Federal  loaa  was  about  500. 

1861-1865  297 

Hamilton  Hare,  G.  B.  Chandler;  wounded,  J.  C.  Stump,  John 
Kerr,  John  H.  Williams;  James  W.  Hale  lost  an  arm.  Lieu- 
tenant Thomas  G.  Jarrell,  of  a  Boone  County  company,  a 
Mercer  County  man  originally,  the  son  of  Mr.  George  Wash- 
ington Jarrell,  was  slain  in  this  battle. 

The  defeat  of  General  Jones'  command  left  the  Valley  to 
Staunton,  in  fact  through  to  and  South  of  the  James  River, 
open  to  the  march  of  General  Hunter's  army,  now  numbering 
near  20,000  effective  men.  Hunter  did  not  delay,  but  pushed 
on  toward  Lynchburg,  with  nothing  to  oppose  save  McCaus- 
land's  cavalry  command,  which  fought  him  closely  and  man- 
fully all  along  the  route,  and  so  delayed  him  that  it  took  him 
more  than  a  week  to  march  over  a  good  road  from  Staunton 
to  the  front  of  Lynchburg.  It  is  true  that  he.  Hunter,  stopped 
along  the  route  at  Lexington  and  other  points  to  repeat  his 
acts  of  vandalism;  having  in  the  lower  Valley  caused  the 
properties  of  some  of  his  relatives  to  be  burned  and  destroyed; 
and  after  the  close  of  the  war  it  is  said,  he  attempted  to  con- 
ciliate them,  but  they  treated  him  with  scorn  and  contempt 
as  he  deserved,  for  when  his  relatives,  the  females,  plead  with 
him  to  spare  their  homes  he  turned  a  deaf  ear: 

"As  well  might  you  plead  with  the  tiger  to  pause 

When  his  victim  lies  writhing  and  clenched  in  his  claws." 

It  was  these  acts  of  General  Hunter,  contrary  as  they  were 
to  usages  of  civilized  warfare,  that  caused  the  burning  of 
Chambersburg,  Pennsylvania,  in  July  of  that  year. 

In  November,  1863,  a  straggling  camp  follower,  or  maraud- 
ing Federal  soldier  entered  the  home  of  Mr,  David  Creigh 
near  Lewisburg,  West  Virginia,  and  attempted  by  force  to 
enter  the  room  of  his  daughter,  when  Mr,  Creigh  interposed 
and  attempted  to  eject  him;  he  sought  the  life  of  Mr,  Creigh, 
who  believing  himself  in  great  danger  killed  the  man.  General 
Averill  in  the  spring  of  1864,  on  his  retreat  with  Crook  from 
Cloyd's  farm,  had  Mr,  Creigh  arrested  and  tried  by  a  drum- 
kead  court  martial,  which  sentenced  Mr.  Creigh  to  be  hanged, 

298  New  River  Settlements 

which  sentence  was  approved  by  General  Hunter.  See  Aver- 
ill's  Report,  Vol.  37,  Part  1,  Rebellion  Records,  p.  145.  The 
wife  of  General  W.  H.  Smith  has  beautifully  and  fully  told 
this  story  of  the  martyr  Creigh  in  verse,  which  is  as  follows : 

"He  lived  the  life  of  an  upright  man, 

And  the  people  loved  him  well; 
Many  a  wayfarer  came  to  his  door, 

His  sorrow  or  need  to  tell. 
A  pitying  heart  and  an  open  hand. 

Gave  succor  ready  and  free; 
For  kind  and  true  to  his  fellowman 

And  a  Christian  was  David  Creigh. 

But  o'er  his  threshold  a  shadow  passed. 

With  a  step  of  a  ruffian  foe; 
While  in  silent  words  and  brutal  threats 

A  purpose  of  darkness  show; 
And  a  daughter's  wild  imploring  cry 

Called  the  father  to  her  side — 
His  hand  was  nerved  by  the  burning  wrong, 

And  there  the  offender  died. 

The  glory  of  Autumn  had  gone  from  earth, 

The  winter  had  passed  away. 
And  the  glad  springtime  was  merging  fast 

Into  summer's  ardent  ray, 
When  a  good  man  from  his  home  was  torn — 

Days  of  toilsome  travel  to  see — 
And  far  from  his  loved  a  crown  was  worn, 

And  the  martyr  was  David  Creigh. 

Here  where  he  lived,  let  the  end  be  told, 

Of  a  tale  of  bitter  wrong; 
Here  let  our  famishing  thousands  learn. 

To  whom  vengeance  doth  belong. 
Short  grace  was  given  the  dying  man. 

E'er  led  to  the  fatal  tree, 
And  short  the  grace  to  our  starving  hosts. 

Since  the  murder  of  David  Creigh. 

The  beast  of  the  desert  shields  Its  young. 

With  an  instinct  fierce  and  wild. 
And  lives  there  a  man  with  the  heart  of  a  man 

Who  would  not  defend  his  child? 
So  woe  to  those  who  call  evil  good — 

That  wee  shall  not  come  to  me — 
War  hath  no  record  of  fouler  deed 

Than  the  murder  of  David  Creigh. 

As  has  already  been  noted,  General  Breckenridge  with  his 
division  had,  on  the  10th  of  June,  left  Richmond  to  meet  Hunt- 
er's forces  and  prevent  their  passage  through  the  gaps  of  the 
Blue  Ridge  towards  Charlottesville  and  Richmond.     General 

1861-1865  299 

Breckeuridge,  finding  Hunter's  advance  directed  toward 
Lynchburg,  instead  of  Eastward  of  the  ridge,  therefore  pushed 
his  division  to  the  defense  of  that  city,  reaching  there  in  ad- 
vance of  Hunter's  army,  and  holding  the  Federals  at  bay  by 
severe  fighting  until  the  arrival  of  General  Early  with  a  por- 
tion of  the  2nd  corps  of  the  army  of  Northern  Virginia,  on 
the  18th.  Hunter  ascertaining  that  Early  had  arrived,  took 
fright  and  on  the  night  of  the  18th  beat  a  hasty  retreat  by  way 
of  Liberty  and  Salem,  and  across  the  mountains  into  Western 
Virginia.  At  Hanging  Rock,  a  Gap  in  the  North  Mountain, 
on  the  Salem  and  Sweet  Springs  turnpike,  a  portion  of  Early's 
cavalry  struck  the  flank  of  Hunter's  retreating  army,  capturing 
a  portion  of  his  train.  In  this  encounter  George  Kahle,  a 
brave  young  soldier  from  Mercer  County,  in  a  hand  to  hand 
conflict  with  a  Federal  soldier,  was  killed,  and  the  latter  slain 
on  the  spot  by  James  O.  Cassady,  who  was  also  a  Mercer  man. 
Hunter's  army  now  sent  in  disastrous  retreat  across  the  moun- 
tains to  the  Kanawha,  and  the  Valley  free  from  the  enemy. 
General  Early  directed  the  head  of  his  column  on  the  23rd  day 
of  June  towards  Staunton,  which  he  reached  on  the  26th. 
With  Early  was  his  own  corps,  to  which  was  added  Brecken- 
ridge's  division,  in  which  were  the  New  River  Valley  men,  not 
only  in  the  infantry,  but  as  well  in  the  cavalry  and  artillery. 
Crook's  retreat  from  the  New  River  section  had  left  the  Con- 
federate lines  along  the  Western  and  Southwestern  Virginia 
border  free  from  any  considerable  body  of  the  enemy,  and 
events  in  the  East  and  in  the  Valley  required  the  presence  of 
nearly  all  the  forces  that  had  theretofore  operated  in  Vir- 
ginia Westward  of  the  Alleghanies. 

Resuming  his  march  on  the  28th  General  Early,  with  his 
troops,  reached  and  passed  through  Winchester  on  July  3rd. 
General  McCausland,  with  his  brigade  of  cavalry,  attacked 
on  July  4tli,  North  Mountain  depot  on  the  Baltimore  &  Ohio 
Railroad,  capturing  200  prisoners.  A  portion  of  Early's  in- 
fantry under  General  Gordon,  having  crossed  the  Potomac  on 
the  5th,  McCausland's  cavalry  brigade  advanced  to  Shepherds- 

300  New  River  Settlements 

town,  and  on  the  Gth  to  the  Antietam,  in  front  of  Sharpsburg, 
and  on  the  9th  advanced  to  Frederick  City,  where  he  had  a 
skirmish  with  the  enemy.  General  Early's  troops  being  fully 
up  on  the  9th,  he  attacked  and  defeated,  after  a  fierce  and 
bloody  battle,  a  Federal  army  of  10,000  men  at  the  Monocacy 
under  General  Lew  Wallace.  In  this  bloody  engagement  Gen- 
eral McCausland's  cavalry  brigade  performed  prodigies  of 
valor  and  suffered  severe  loss.  The  Confederate  loss  was  about 
700 ;  that  of  the  Federals  reported  at  19()8.  In  the  17th  Vir- 
ginia cavalry  were  three  companies  from  Mercer  County,  com- 
manded by  Captains  Graybeal,  Gore,  and  Straley,  respectively. 
This  regiment,  as  already  heretofore  stated,  belonged  to  Mc- 
Causland's brigade  and  was  in  the  thickest  of  the  fight  at  the 
Monocacy  and  suffered  severe  loss,  Lieutenant  Colonel  Tave- 
ner  of  the  17th  Virginia  being  mortally  wounded. 

Mr.  Floyd  A.  Bolen  has  furnished  to  the  author  an  itinerary 
of  Company  A  of  the  17th  regiment,  as  well  as  of  that  regiment 
from  the  earliest  organization  of  said  company  and  regiment, 
down  to  the  close  of  the  battle  at  Monocacy,  where  Mr.  Bolen 
was  wounded  so  severely  as  to  disable  him  from  further  ser- 
vice in  the  army.  This  itinerary  is  as  follows :  "Field  officers 
of  the  regiment,  William  H.  French,  Colonel;  W.  C.  Tavener, 
Lieutenant  Colonel;  Fred  Smith,  Major;  H.  B.  Barbor,  Adju- 
tant; with  Doctor  Isaiah  Bee  for  a  while  as  regimental  Sur- 
geon, but  afterwards  i)romoted  to  brigade  Surgeon.  Three 
companies  from  Mercer  County  belonged  to  this  regiment: 
Company  A,  which  was  the  first  company  of  cavalry  organized 
in  Mercer  County,  had  as  its  first  officer  William  H.  French, 
Captain;  Philip  Thompson,  Robert  Gore  and  William  B. 
Crump,  Lieutenants.  At  the  reorganization  of  the  company 
J.  W.  Graybeal  was  elected  Captain  and  LaFayette  Gore  and 
Albert  Austin  Lieutenants.  When  Captain  William  H.  French 
iras  promoted  to  the  rank  of  Colonel,  Captain  J.  W.  Graybeal 
became  Captain  of  company  A  and  Judson  Ellison  and  W.  A. 
Reed  became  Lieutenants,   together  with  Edward  McClaugh- 

1861-1865  301 

erty,  in  the  place  of  Ellison  resigned.    The  oiScers  of  company 
D  were  Robert  Gore,  Captain ;  Erastus  Meador,  Albert  White, 
and  William  R.  Carr,  Lieutenants.     The  officers  of  Company 
E  were  Jacob  C.  Straley,  Captain ;  William  L.  Bridges,  Kinzie 
Rowland,  and  Ambrose  Oney,  Lieutenants.     Company  A  was 
organized  and  entered  the  Confederate  service  about  the  Ist 
of  June,  1861,  and  remained  in  the  Counties  of  Mercer  and 
Giles  until  about  the  1st  of  the  following  October,  when  it 
marched  with  other  troops  to  Guyandotte.     This  march  was 
conducted  through  the  Counties  of  Raleigh,  Wyoming,  Logan 
and  Cabell.     On  the  return  of  the  company  from  this  expedi- 
tion it  went  into  camp  on  Flat  Top  mountain  on  the  Miller 
farm,  where  it  remained  two  or  three  weeks,  then  marched  by 
way  of  Princeton  and  Jeffersonville  into  Russell  County,  go- 
ing into  camp  near  Lebanon,  where  it  remained  two  or  three 
weeks,  and  then  moved  over  to  the  Holstein  and  went  into 
camp.     Here  it  remained  about  one  month,  and  then  moved 
Southwestward  through  Abingdon,  Bristol  and  into  Tennessee 
as  far  as  Union  Station,  and  then  returned  to  Mercer  County, 
going   into   camp   at   Princeton,   where   it   spent   the   winter. 
Early  in  the  spring  of  1862,  the  company,  in  connection  with 
other  troops,  met  the  enemy  at  Clark's  house,  on  the  Flat  Top, 
in  which  a  severe  skirmish  ensued,  resulting  in  the  repulse  of 
the  Confederates,  and  in  a  loss  to  said  company  of  Cornelius 
Brown  and  G.  H.  Bryson,  killed,  and  several  wounded.     The 
retreat  continued  by  way  of  Princeton  to  Bland  Court  House, 
where  the  company  remained  for  a  few  days  and  then  was  sent 
back  to  Rocky  Gap,  and  a  few  days  thereafter  to  the  Cross 
Roads  in  Mercer  County.     A  few  days  after  reaching  Cross 
Roads  this  company  led  the  advance  of  Wharton's  command 
against  the  enemy  at  Princeton,  and  on  the  17th  of  May  was 
engaged  in  the  battle  of  Pigeon  Roost  Hill,  with  Wharton's 
command.     These  three  Mercer  companies  accompanied  Gen- 
eral Loring  on  his  march  to  the  Kanawha  Valley,  in  Septem- 
ber, 1862.    On  reaching  Charleston  this  company,  with  Gore's 
Company  D  and  the  Bland  rangers,  were  thrown   together, 

302  New  Kiver  Settlements 

forming  a  hattaliou,  and  placed  under  the  command  of  Major 
Saliers.  This  battalion  was  then  detached  from  Loring's 
troops  and  sent  through  Jackson  County,  driving  the  enemy 
across  the  Ohio.  Returning  from  tliis  expedition  this  battalion 
marched  through  the  Kanawha  Valley  to  Blue  Sulphur 
Springs  in  Greenbrier,  where  the  17th  regiment  was  finally 
gotten  together  with  the  field  officers  hereinbefore  stated. 
Shortly  after  its  organization  the  regiment  marched  to  Salem, 
where  it  spent  the  winter  of  1862-3.  About  the  1st  of  May, 
1863,  the  regiment  broke  camp  and  boarded  the  cars  for  Lynch- 
burg, and  from  thence  to  Stauntou,  where  it  went  into  camp 
and  remained  waiting  for  its  horses  to  be  brought  forward. 
As  soon  as  mounted  the  regiment  marched  down  the  Valley  to 
Berryville,  Virginia,  where  it  joined  and  became  a  part  of  the 
cavalry  brigade  of  Jenkins,  which  led  the  advance  of  Gen- 
eral Lee's  army  into  Pennsylvania.  On  this  march  into 
Pennsjlvania,  at  a  point  northeast  of  Gettysburg,  this 
brigade  of  Jenkins  encountered  a  regiment  of  the  enemy, 
capturing  200  or  more  prisoners  and  a  train  of  wagons. 
On  the  first  day  at  Gettysburg,  after  the  Federal  line  had 
been  broken.  Captain  Robert  Gore,  of  Company  D,  distin- 
guished himself  by  dashing  in  front  of  the  Federal  lines 
alone,  and  capturing  150  of  the  retreating  enemy.  After  the 
first  day's  fight  was  over  the  17th  regiment  took  charge  of  and 
guarded  the  5,000  prisoners  captured  on  that  day.  On  the 
retreat  from  Pennsylvania  this  brigade  of  Jenkins  had  quite  a 
lively  fight  with  the  enemy  near  Boonesboro,  in  which  Joseph 
H.  McClaugherty  of  Company  A,  was  wounded.  Jenkins' 
brigade  of  cavalry  covered  the  retreat  of  General  Lee's  army 
southward  after  it  crossed  the  Potomac  on  its  way  from 
Gettysburg,  and  in  the  Valley  had  several  skirmishes  with 
the  enemy,  without  any  serious  loss.  Near  Sperryville,  in  Rap- 
pahannock County,  a  part  of  the  17th  regiment  had  a  skirmish 
with  a  force  of  the  enemy,  in  which  John  R.  Newkirk  and 
Jackson  Anderson,  of  Com])any  A,  were  captured.  Shortly 
after  this  the  brigade  moved  back  into  the  Valley  and  marched 

1861-1865  303 

by  way  of  Staunton  into  the  Greenbrier  section,  where  it  re- 
mained for  a  short  while,  when  the  17th  regiment  marched 
into  Abb's  Valley,  and  then  remarched  to  Red  Sulphur  Springs 
and  subsequently  a  part  of  the  regiment  marched  into  Mercer 
County  and  went  into  camp  near  Spanishburg,  where  it  win- 
tered in  1863-4.  On  the  approach  of  the  Federal  army  from 
the  Kanawha,  in  the  spring  of  1864,  the  whole  of  Jenkins' 
brigade  took  post  at  the  Narrows.  While  the  battle  of  Cloyd's 
farm  was  about  to  be,  or  was  being  fought,  this  cavalry  bri- 
gade, now  under  the  command  of  Colonel  William  H.  French, 
crossed  New  River  at  Snidow's  ferry  and  marched  to  Gap 
Mountain,  with  the  view  of  cutting  off  General  Crook's  re- 
treat; failing  in  this  it  succeeded  in  cutting  General  Averill's 
command  off  from  that  of  Crook's,  compelling  Averill  to  escape 
by  the  mountain  paths.  Shortly  after  this  General  McCaus- 
iand  took  command  of  the  brigade,  and  marched  it  into  the 
Valley  of  Virginia,  where  it  skirmished  from  near  Staunton, 
with  Hunter's  advance,  until  it  reached  Lynchburg.  In  a 
skirmish  with  the  enemy  near  Lynchburg,  Jack  Hatcher,  of 
Company  A,  was  killed.  On  Hunter's  retreat  from  Lynchburg, 
McCausland's  brigade  followed  closely  upon  his  rear,  charg- 
ing into  his  wagon  train  at  Hanging  Rock,  capturing  a  num- 
ber of  prisoners  and  two  pieces  of  artillery.  From  here  the 
brigade  marched  in  advance  of  Early's  command  to  Staunton, 
and  from  thence  to  the  Monocacy,  where  it  engaged  in  that 
battle,  in  which  Company  A  of  the  17th  regiment  lost  William 
French,  Thomas  Thornley,  and  A.  J.  Fanning,  killed,  and 
several  wounded,  among  them  Mr.  Bolen.  In  the  same  com- 
pany with  Mr.  Bolen  was  John  H.  Robinson,  who  is  now  an 
eminent  dentist  of  Mercer  County,  and  who  was  wounded  in 
the  batle  of  Monocacy  and  captured  and  removed  to  Balti- 
more to  the  West  Building  Hospital,  from  which  he  escaped 
and  finally  made  his  way  through  Maryland  into  Virginia. 
The  thrilling  story  of  the  escape  of  this  brave  soldier  and  his 
sufferings,  is  worth  relating,  but  the  manuscript  furnished  by 
him  came  too  late  to  be  inserted  at  length  in  this  volume ;  but 

304  New  River  Settlements 

something  further  will  be  said  in  regard  to  it  in  the  appendix 
to  this  work. 

Immediately  upon  the  close  of  the  battle  at  Monocacy  Gen- 
eral Early  continued  his  advance  on  Washington,  McCausland 
with  his  cavalry  leading  this  advance,  and  having  many  severe 
combats  with  the  enemy's  cavalry,  driving  it  before  him.  The 
enemy  by  this  time  had  become  thoroughly  alarmed  for  the 
safety  of  the  Capital,  and  poured  into  and  around  the  city 
large  bodies  of  troops,  which  induced  General  Early,  on  the 
night  of  the  12th,  to  retire  toward  the  upper  Potomac,  crossing 
at  White's  Ford  on  the  morning  of  the  14th  of  July,  and  camp- 
ing on  the  Virginia  shore.  By  the  17th,  Early's  army  had 
reached  and  crossed  the  Shenandoah,  and  went  into  camp  near 
Castleman's  ferry.  On  the  18th  the  enemy  crossed  the  Blue 
Ridge  at  Snicker's  Gap  and  made  a  heavy  attack  on  the  Con- 
federates, attempting  to  cross  the  river  at  Cool  Springs,  but 
were  driven  back  with  loss  by  the  divisions  of  Rodes  and 
Wharton.  On  the  19th,  in  a  further  attempt  to  cross  the  river 
at  Berry's  ferry,  they  were  defeated  with  loss  by  the  cavalry 
brigades  of  McCausland  and  Imboden.  On  the  afternoon  of 
the  20th  Early  again  marched,  taking  the  route  up  the  Valley 
toward  Newtown,  and  during  the  night  Breckenridge's  corps, 
made  up  of  the  divisions  of  Gordon  and  W^harton,  followed  by 
McCausland,  marched  by  way  of  Millwood  and  the  Valley 
turnpike  to  Middletown.  The  whole  army  marched  to  the 
vicinity  of  Strasburg  and  went  into  camp.  On  the  24th  Gen- 
eral Early  turned  back  to  meet  the  pursuing  enemy,  which  he 
met  at  Kernstown  and  quickly  defeated;  the  principal  fight- 
ing being  done  by  Gordon  and  Wharton's  divisions  of  Brecken- 
ridge's corps.  General  Early  pressed  on  to  Bunker's  Hill  and 

It  was  on  July  27th  that  General  McCausland  started  on 
his  raid  to  Chambersburg,  Pennsylvania.  He  had  with  him 
his  own  and  Bradley  T.  Johnson's  brigades,  and  acting  under 
and  in  obedience  to  the  orders  of  Lieutenant  General  Early, 

1861-1865  305 

to  demand  of  the  citizens  of  Chambersburg  a  named  sum  of 
money  as  an  indemnity  for  the  wanton  burning  of  private 
dwelling  houses  in  the  Valley  of  Virginia  by  the  Federal 
soldiers,  and  upon  refusal  to  pay  the  money  to  burn  the  town. 
Reaching  the  town  on  the  30th  of  July,  General  McCausland 
made  demand  for  the  money,  which  was  refused,  and  there- 
upon the  buildings  were  fired.  Adjutant  A.  C.  Bailey,  of  the 
8th  cavalry,  was  killed  in  Chambersburg  by  some  infuriated 
citizens.  McCausland,  on  his  retreat  into  Virginia,  halted  at 
Moorefield,  where  before  daylight  on  the  6th  day  of  August  his 
command  was  surprised  by  that  of  the  Federal  General  Averill 
and  defeated  with  a  loss  of  many  killed  and  wounded ;  three 
flags,  four  pieces  of  artillery,  and  400  captured. 

From  the  10th  of  August  to  the  19th  day  of  September, 
General  Early's  command  marched  and  counter-marched  re- 
peatedly over  the  territory  between  Winchester  and  the  Poto- 
mac, with  scarcely  a  day  passing  without  a  skirmish  or  small 
engagement  of  some  kind.  No  army  was  better  exercised,  or 
inured  to  more  active  service. 

The  Federal  General  Sheridan,  with  an  army  of  more  than 
40,000  men,  on  September  19th  at  Winchester,  attacked  Gen- 
eral Early's  troops,  numbering  not  exceeding  12,000,  and  after 
an  all-day  close  and  bloody  battle,  the  enemy's  large  body  of 
cavalry  turned  the  Confederate  left  flank,  and  compelled  a 
rapid  retreat  of  the  army  of  General  Early,  with  a  loss  to  him 
of  1707  in  killed  and  wounded ;  more  than  2,000  captured,  and 
the  loss  of  five  pieces  of  artillery  and  nine  flags.  The  loss  of  the 
enemy  was  5018.  Among  those  killed  on  the  Confederate  side 
was  Major  General  Rodes,  and  the  brave  and  magnificent  Col- 
onel George  S.  Patton,  mortally  wounded;  while  Lieutenant 
Colonels  Edgar  and  Derrick  were  captured.  The  Federals 
lost  General  Russel,  killed;  and  Generals  Upton,  Mcintosh  and 
Chapman  wounded.  Among  the  New  River  Valley  men,  and 
those  of  adjacent  territory,  killed  in  this  battle,  were  Captain 
George  Bierne  Chapman,  commanding  Chapman's  battery; 
and   Clinton   Bailey,   of   the   8th   Virginia   cavalry,   mortally 

306  New  River  Settlements 

wounded;  and  among  the  eaj)tiii'ed,  were  Captain  Henry  Bowen, 
and  Private  William  H.  Thompson,  of  the  8th  cavalry;  Cap- 
tain James  B.  Peck  of  Edgar's  battalion;  Lieutenant  John  A. 
Douglass,  of  the  30th  Virginia  battalion;  Lieutenant  J.  N. 
Shanklin  of  Monroe  County,  and  Captain  Andrew  Gott,  of 
Mercer,  who  though  wounded,  succeeded  in  escaping  a  few  days 
after  his  capture. 

General  Early  retired  with  his  army  to  Fisher's  Hill,  where 
on  the  22nd  of  September  he  was  again  attacked  and  defeated 
by  (jeneral  Sheridan ;  and  only  saved  by  the  firm  and  brave 
resistance  of  a  portion  of  Wharton's  division,  and  some  of  the 
artillery  brigade  which  continued  tlie  fighting  until  General 
Early  ordered  them  to  desist.  General  Early  reports  his  loss 
in  this  engagement  at  30  killed,  210  wounded,  and  995  missing, 
and  12  pieces  of  artillery.  General  Sheridan  reports  his  loss  )^ 
at  528. 

Getting  his  troops  together  and  giving  them  a  few  days  for  | 
rest  and  recuperation.  General  Early,  on  October  1st,  again  l 
advanced   down   the  Valley   to  the  vicinity  of  Cedar  Creek,J| 
■skirmishing  all  the  way.    An  examination  of  the  enemy's  posi- 
tion satisfied  the  Confederate  command  that  a  successful  at- 
tack could  be  made,  although  his  array  did  not  number  above , 
10,000  men,  while  that  of  the  enemy  was  close  to  50,000.     Aj 
more  daring  enterprise,  under  the  circumstances,  with  suchi 
disi)arity  of  numbers,  was  never  conceived  or  attempted  in 
modern  warfare.     It  was  plain  that  if  he  did  not  succeed  the] 
chances  were  that  he  would  loose  his  whole  army.     Notwith- 
standing the  diflficulties  that  were  ijresented,  as  the  movement] 
began  on  the  early  morning  of  the  19th  day  of  October,  the 
obstacles  which  seemed  insurmountable  disappeared,  and  byj 
a  movement  of  a  part  of  his  troops  on  the  flank  of  the  enemy' 
under  the  gallant  Gordon,  and  with  Wharton's  division  on  the  i 
main  turnpike.  General  Early  threw  his  troops  with  a  bold  rush| 
upon  the  enemy,  who  were  largely'  asleep  in  their  tents,  and  in 
an  incredibly  short  space  of  time  the  enemy's  8th  and  19th  army ; 
corps  were  in  utter  route  and  confusion,  with  a  large  number' 

1861-1865  307 

thereof  prisoners,  together  with  many  pieces  of  artillery  and 
camp  equipage.  By  noon  the  entire  infantry  fofce  of  the  enemy 
had  been  routed  and  driven  for  several  miles.  Unfortunately, 
however,  General  Early  halted  his  men  when  in  the  full  tide 
of  a  most  brilliant  success,  thus  giving  the  enemy  time  to  get 
themselves  together  again,  which  they  did,  and  later  turning 
upon  the  broken  and  scattered  Confederate  battalions,  with  his 
immense  cavalry  corps  some  10.000  strong,  drove  Early's  troops 
from  the  field  with  serious  loss;  although  he  had  succeeded  in 
getting  off  1500  Federal  prisoners,  he  lost  most  of  the  artillery 
he  had  captured  and  some  of  his  own  by  the  breaking  down  of 
the  bridge  over  Cedar  Creek.  The  Confederates  retreated  to 
New  Market  and  there  went  into  bivouac.  The  Confederate 
loss  in  this  battle,  including  prisoners,  is  put  down  at  about 
2500;  while  that  of  the  Federal  army  is  officially  reported  at 
5605.  The  Confederates  lost  Major  General  Kamseur,  killed; 
the  Federal  General  Bidwell  was  killed,  and  Generals  Wright, 
Grover,  and  Ricketts  wounded.  It  is  to  be  regretted  that  the 
casualties  in  Wharton's  division,  and  McCausland's  cavalry 
brigade  cannot  be  given  for  want  of  official  or  other  informa- 

Between  August  the  10th  and  November  16th,  1864,  General 
Sheridan  had  so  completely  devastated  the  country  in  which 
his  army  operated,  that  it  was  made  most  manifest  that  his 
orders  to  destroy  the  Valley,  "So  that  even  a  crow  traversing 
it  would  have  to  carry  a  haversack,"  were  almost  literally  com- 
plied with ;  about  the  only  thing  which  he  did  not  burn,  destroy 
or  carry  away,  being  the  stone  fences.  Scarce  any  such  whole- 
sale pillage  and  wanton  destruction  ever  followed  in  the  wake 
of  any  army.  To  the  people  the  losses  amounted  to  millions  of 

From  the  time  of  the  battle  of  Cedar  Creek,  on  the  19th  day 
of  October,  to  the  14th  day  of  December,  when  Early's  2nd 
corps  of  the  army,  under  General  John  B.  Gordon,  returned 
to  the  trenches  around  Richmond,  there  was  a  succession  of 
marches  and  countermarches  by  General  Early's  troops,  and 

-{08  New  River  Hettlements 

many  spirited  skirmishes,  and  some  pretty  severe  combats  be- 
tween the  cavalry  forces  of  the  two  armies,  one  of  wliich  was 
an  attack  on  General  McCausland's  brigade,  on  the  12th  day 
of  November,  near  Cedarville,  in  which  the  enem^'  was  several 
times  repulsed,  but  finally  drove  McCausland  back  towards 
Front  Royal,  witli  a  loss  of  two  pieces  of  artillery,  10  killed, 
(>0  wounded,  and  100  captured.  It  is  stated  upon  authority, 
that  up  to  the  15th  day  of  November,  General  Early's  troops 
had  marched  since  the  opening  of  the  campaign  on  the  13th 
day  of  June,  1G70  miles,  and  fought  75  battles  and  skirmishes. 
On  the  24th  day  of  November  McCausland's  brigade,  with  those 
of  Jackson  and  Imboden,  had  a  sharp  contention  with  Tor- 
bett's  two  divisions  of  Federal  Cavalry  at  Liberty  Mills,  north- 
west of  Gordonsville.  The  troops  became  very  much  mixed  up 
with  the  enemy  in  the  dark  night.  The  enemy's  reported  loss  in 
this  encounter  was  258. 

General  Early  established  his  headquarters  at  Staunton, 
while  a  portion  of  General  Wharton's  division  went  into  camp 
about  the  1st  of  December  at  Fishersville.  This  was  the  end 
of  the  Valley  campaign  of  1864. 

Whatever  may  be  said  of  Early's  Valley  campaign  as  to  its 
conduct  and  final  disastrous  results,  it  is  certain  that  no  student 
of  military  history  will  withhold  from  that  officer  the  credit  of 
being  a  bold,  daring,  brave  soldier  and  strategist,  who  with  a 
small  army  of  scarce  more  than  12,000  of  the  most  heroic  men 
that  ever  shouldered  muskets  for  the  defense  of  their  country, 
balHed,  beat  back,  defeated,  harrassed,  and  kept  employed  for 
more  than  five  months  in  an  open  country,  and  within  a  radius 
of  not  more  than  100  miles,  an  army  of  quite  five  times  its  num- 
bers, inflicting  upon  it  during  that  period  losses  almost  equal 
to  double  its  own  numbers;  and  keeping  during  the  period 
referred  to  the  Federal  authorities  in  a  state  of  nervous  tremor 
for  fear  that  the  bold  "Captain  of  the  Valley"  might  swoop 
down  upon  the  Federal  city. 

Lieutenant  Colonel  Vincent  A.  Witcher,  on  the  17th  day 
of  September,  1804,  with  his  34th  Virginia  battalion  of  cavalry, 

1861-18G5  300 

left  Tazewell  Court  House,  and  passing  by  way  of  Narrows  of 
New  Eiver  to  Lewisburg,  was  there  joined  by  the  companies 
of  the  Thnrmonds  and  those  of  Captain  William  H.  Payne, 
J.  Bumgards  and  J.  W.  Amick,  raising  his  effective  strength  to 
523  men,  with  which  he  moved  northward  across  the  mountains 
into  the  counties  of  Upshur  and  Lewis,  making  extensive  cap- 
tures of  horses,  beef  cattle,  and  300  prisoners,  and  destroying 
large  amounts  of  government  stores,  and  returning  without 
loss.  (1) 

On  October  20th,  1864,  Captain  William  H.  Payne,  at  the 
head  of  his  command  and  while  marching  down  Coal  River,  in 
Raleigh  County,  against  the  enemy,  was  shot  from  his  horse, 
falling  mortally  wounded.  His  left  arm  was  broken,  the  ball 
passing  through  his  body,  from  which  wound  he  died  on  the 
next  day.  He  was  a  young  man  of  great  promise,  the  son  of 
Mr.  Charles  H.  Payne,  of  Giles  County.  Had  young  Payne 
lived  a  month  longer  he  would  have  become  Colonel  at  the  re- 
organization of  his  command.  He  was  a  man  of  exemplary 
[labits,  well  educated,  of  dauntless  courage,  and  was  a  strik- 
ingly handsome,  fine-looking  soldier.  The  officers  of  his  com- 
pany at  the  time  of  his  death  were  Lieutenant  John  Tabler  and 
Charles  R.  Price.  Major  Nounan  with  a  detachment  of  cavalry, 
in  the  month  of  October,  penetrated  the  enemy's  lines,  and 
marched  to  the  Kanawha  River,  doing  some  hurt  to  the  enemy, 
[ind  returned  without  serious  loss. 

On  the  2nd  dav  of  October,  1864,  the  enemv  2500  stron"-,  in- 
eluding  one  negro  cavalry  regiment,  under  the  command  of  the 
Federal  General  Burbridge,  attacked  Saltville,  Virginia,  de- 
fended by  a  small  force  under  the  command  of  Generals  Echols, 
Vaughn  and  Williams;  and  were  after  an  all-day  contest  re- 
pulsed and  forced  to  retire,  with  a  loss  of  about  350  men  killed 
and  wounded.  In  the  December  following,  a  Federal  army 
about  6,000  strong,  under  the  command  of  the  Federal  General 

(1)  Witcher's  command  had,  in  1863,  a  severe  engagement  at  the 
mouth  of  Beech  Creek,  now  Mingo  County,  with  the  4th  West  Virginia 
eavalry,  under  Col.  Hall,  in  which  Hall  was  killed  and  Witcher  badly 

310  New  River  Settlements 

Stoneman,  marched  into  Southwestern  Virginia  and  was  met 
by  General  John  C.  Breckenridge  Mith  some  small  remnants 
and  fragments  of  Confederate  commands,  numbering  less  than 
1,000  men.  For  several  days  frequent  combats  ensued,  mostly 
in  favor  of  the  Federals,  who  penetrated  the  country  as  far 
east  as  Wytheville,  destroying  much  of  the  railroad,  especially 
bridges,  and  some  Government  stores  in  that  town  and  at  other 
points,  also  doing  some  damage  to  the  lead  mines.  As  stated, 
the  first  named  Federal  force  had  with  it  one  regiment  of  negro 
cavalry,  whose  fighting  qualities  was  the  boast  of  the  Federal 
officers,  they  even  intimating  that  the  negroes  were  better  sold- 
iers than  their  white  men.  On  the  20th  of  December  a  large 
Federal  force  attacked  the  command  of  Colonel  Robert  T. 
Preston  at  the  salt  works,  and  after  a  brisk  fight  lasting  until 
night.  Colonel  Preston,  who  had  only  400  men — mostly  old  men 
• — reserves,  withdrew  his  men,  and  tlie  Federals  entered  and 
took  possession,  doing  considerable  damage,  after  which  they, 
finding  nothing  further  to  destroy,  returned  to  Kentucky  and 

General  Thomas  L.  Rosser,  with  his  Virginia  cavalry  brigade, 
and  the  Sth  Virginia  cavalry  regiment  of  Payne's  brigade,  on 
the  night  of — or  rather  before  daylight  on  the  morning  of — 
tlie  11th  day  of  January,  1865,  attacked  a  Federal  force  at 
Beverley,  V/est  "v'irginia,  capturing,  killing  and  wounding  572, 
without  loss  to  his  command. 

The  old  brigade  of  Echols,  of  Wharton's  division,  which  had 
been  in  ([uarters  near  Fishersviile  in  I>cceml)er,  on  the  18th 
day  of  January  left  for  Dublin  I>e])ot,  in  Southwestern  Vir- 
ginia, and  McCausIand's  brigade  marched  from  east  of  the  Blue 
Ridge,  by  way  of  Fishersville,  en  route  to  winter  quarters  in 
Alleghanev  and  (Ireenbrier  Counties.  Bv  the  last  davs  of 
February  all  of  the  Confederate  troops  had  departed  from  the 
valley,  save  a  small  force  of  cavalry  under  General  Rosser, 
and  the  remnant  of  Wharton's  division,  numbering  less  than 
1,000  men,  badly  clad  and  poorly  fed.  A  force  of  9,987  Federal 
Cavalry,  with  artillery,  under  the  comnumd  of  General  Sheri- 

1861-1865  311 

dan,  on  the  2nd  day  of  March,  attacked  Early's  small  force  at 
Waynesboro,  completely  demolishing  it,  capturing  about  1600 
prisoners,  many  of  them  citizens  and  convalescents,  who  were 
getting  out  of  the  country  with  General  Early's  troops.  Early 
escaped  to  the  mountains,  finally  reached  Richmond,  was  sent 
to  Lynchburg  and  from  there  to  Southwestern  Virginia  to  take 
command  of  the  troops  in  that  department. 

General  Sheridan  crossed  the  Blue  Ridge,  laid  waste  the 
whole  country  tlirough  which  he  passed,  cut  the  James  River 
canal,  destroyed  the  Central  railroad,  and  made  his  way  down 
to  the  north  of  Richmond  about  the  middle  of  March,  where  he 
was  threatened  with  serious  trouble  and  turned  his  course  to 
the  White  House  on  the  Pamunky,  finally  joining  General 
Grant,  at  Petersburg,  on  March  27th. 

On  March  5th  Pickett's  division  was  relieved  by  that  of 
General  Mahone,  and  marched  to  within  two  miles  of  Chester 
Station,  near  the  Richmond  and  Petersburg  turnpike,  where  it 
went  into  bivouac  amidst  a  cold  rain  which  continued  for  two 
days.  On  the  8th  Pickett  had  a  grand  review  of  his  division, 
after  which  and  on  the  next  day,  the  9th,  it  marched  to  Man- 
chester, and  on  the  following  day,  the  10th,  through  Richmond 
and  halted  in  the  outer  line  of  works  near  the  Brooke  road; 
thence  on  the  left  along  the  line  of  works  to  the  Nine  Mile 
road,  and  the  following  day,  the  12th,  returned  to  the  position 
near  the  Brooke  road.  On  the  14th  it  marched  to  near  Ashland, 
where  it  was  halted  in  line  of  battle.  On  the  16th  the  15th 
Virginia  regiment  of  Corse's  brigade  had  a  sharp  skirmish 
with  Sheridan's  cavalry  at  Ashland.  Sheridan  switching  off 
towards  the  Pamunky,  the  division  followed  him  to  that  river, 
built  a  bridge,  but  found  it  useless  to  attempt  to  follow  the 
bold  riders  any  farther,  and  from  thence  returned  to  the  Nine 
Mile  road.  It  marched  on  the  25th  to  Richmond  and  took  the 
train  for  Dunlop's  Station,  where  it  rested  until  the  evening 
of  the  2J)th,  when  it  was  ordered  to  the  right  of  General  Lee's 
army.  It  marched  to  and  crossed  the  Appomattox  on  a  pontoon 
bridge   five   miles   above   Petersburg.      Here   the   brigades   of 

312  New  River  Settlements 

Stuart,  Corse,  and  Terry  took  the  cars  for  Sutherland's  Sta- 
tion, on  the  Southside  railroad,  but  there  not  being  room  on 
the  train  for  all,  the  first  and  7th  Virginia  regiments  had  to 
march,  reaching  that  night  Sutherland's  Tavern,  on  Cox's  road, 
in  a  drizzling  rain.  Before  daybreak  the  next  morning,  the 
3()th,  the  march  was  resumed  to  Hatcher's  Run  and  to  the 
extreme  right  of  the  line  near  Five  Forks,  where  the  two  last 
mentioned  regiments,  with  some  cavalry,  were  thrown  forward 
to  drive  off  some  Federal  cavalry,  which  they  succeeded  in  do- 
ing,— Hunton's  brigade  was  detached  and  serving  with  Bush- 
rod  Johnson's  division.  At  an  early  hour  on  the  morning  of  the 
31st  the  march  was  again  taken  up  in  the  direction  of  Din- 
widdle Court  House.  Finding  the  Federals  in  heavy  force  at 
the  crossing  of  Chamberlayne's  Creek,  engaged  with  Fitzhugh 
Lee's  cavalry,  Terry's  brigade,  led  by  the  3rd  Virginia  regiment, 
effected  a  crossing  at  an  old  mill  dam,  but  with  loss  to  the 
leading  regiment,  it  having  to  wade  the  creek,  which  was  waist 
deep,  to  dislodge  the  enemy  posted  on  the  opposite  side.  The 
division  advanced  rapidly  in  pursuit  of  the  retreating  enemy, 
who  made  several  stands,  and  quite  brisk  fighting  occurred. 
Within  a  mile  of  Dinwiddle  Court  House  the  enemy,  with  two 
cavalry  divisions,  made  a  bold  stand,  but  were  quickly  driven 
with  loss;  the  Confederate  loss  was  small.  General  Terry  suf- 
fered a  severe  injury  by  the  fall  of  his  horse,  which  was  shot. 
The  division  occupied  the  field  until  1  o'clock,  A,  M.,  of  the  1st 
of  April,  and  was  then  withdrawn  and  posted  at  Five  Forks, 
where,  with  the  brigades  of  Ransom  and  Wallace  and  the  Con- 
federate cavalry,  it  fiercely  assailed  about  the  middle  of 
the  afternoon  by  about  20,000  Federal  infantry  and  cavalry. 
The  Confederates  did  not  number  more  than  7,000,  yet  manfully 
and  bravely  stood  their  ground  until  almost  surrounded,  and 
finally,  about  dark,  was  forced  to  yield  the  field  with  a  loss  of 
more  than  3,000  of  their  number  captured,  with  several  pieces 
of  artillery.  No  better  fight  ever  made  under  the  circum- 
stances. In  its  close  it  was  hand  to  hand.  The  day  was  lost 
simply  because  the  Confederates  had  both  flanks  turned,  were 

1861-1865  313 

in  fact  pushed  off  the  field  by  weight  of  numbers.  The  repeated 
Federal  assaults  up  to  the  last  were  repulsed  with  great  loss 
to  them.  The  Confederate  loss  in  this  battle  is  put  down  at 
between  3,000  and  4,000  prisoners,  13  colors  and  six  guns ;  and 
on  the  Federal  side  the  loss  of  Warren's  5th  infantry  corps  is 
put  down  at  634  in  killed  and  wounded. 

The  loss  of  General  Grant's  army  from  the  29th  day  of  March 
to  the  9th  day  of  April,  the  date  of  Lee's  surrender,  is  officially 
reported  at  15,692,  a  number  equal  to  about  one-half  the  num- 
ber of  men  I^ee  had  when  he  left  Petersburg,  and  more  than 
equal  to  the  number  that  had  guns  in  their  hands  on  the  day 
of  the  surrender. 

Company  D  of  the  7th  regiment  lost  in  the  Five  Forks  battle 
6  men,  viz:  John  R.  Crawford,  John  S.  Dudley,  A.  L.  Sumner, 
and  G.  C.  Mullens,  captured,  and  William  D.  Peters  and  John 
A.  Hale,  severely  wounded.  No  record  is  extant,  as  far  as 
known,  of  the  losses  in  the  Giles  and  Mercer  companies  of  the 
24th  Virginia  regiment.  An  incident,  however,  occurring  in  the 
Giles  company  of  the  24th  regiment  is  worthy  of  note.  Late 
in  the  afternoon,  when  Warren's  Federal  army  corps  had  swung 
around  the  Confederate  left  and  attacked  Terry's  brigade  in  the 
rear,  three  Federal  soldiers  attacked  McCrosky  of  the  Giles 
company,  one  of  whom  he  killed,  wounded  another  and  escaped, 
with  a  wound  in  his  face,  from  the  third.  The  man  he  killed 
with  the  butt  of  his  gun,  braining  him,  breaking  the  gun  off  at 
the  breach.  Leaving  the  field  the  night  of  the  battle,  Pickett's 
division  marched  to  Ford's  depot  on  the  Southside  railroad, 
bivouacing,  and  joining,  the  next  morning,  the  divisions  of 
Heth  and  Wilcox,  retreating  from  Petersburg.  The  division 
was  now  about  2200  strong,  having  lost  more  than  half  its  num- 
bers in  the  battle  of  the  day  before.  It  continued  its  march, 
Hunton's  brigade  in  the  meantime  having  united  with  the  divi- 
sion, on  the  2nd  of  April,  to  Deep  Creek,  heavily  pressed  by  the 
enemy's  cavalry;  especially  was  this  true  of  the  4th  and  5th, 
having  occasionally  to  halt  and  form  line  of  battle,  and  now 

314  New  River  Settlements 

and  then  a  square,  to  keep  off  the  pursuers;  without  food  and 
living  on  corn  shelled  from  the  cob,  which  was  eaten  even  with- 
out parching. 

In  the  early  morning  of  the  (>th  the  division  reached  Harpers 
farm,  on  i^^ailor's  creek,  where  it  encountered  a  heavy  force  of 
Federal  cavalry  with  which  it  skirmished  for  several  hours,  and 
finally  with  a  furious  attack  front,  flanks  and  rear,  and  in  a 
hand  to  hand  contest,  it  was  bodily  picked  up  by  the  enemy, 
whose  numbers  were  sufficient  to  have  thrown  down  their  guns 
and  have  captured  every  Confederate  on  the  field  and  bound 
him  hand  and  foot  with  ropes.  A  portion  of  the  division  escaped 
capture  and  got  off  the  field  with  General  Pickett  and  Brigadier 
General  Stuart.  Generals  Corse,  Hunton,  and  Terry  were  cap- 
tured, as  was  also  Lieutenant  General  Ewell,  Major  General 
Custis  Lee,  and  perhaps  others.  The  escaped  portion  of  the 
division  marched  to  Appomattox  under  the  command  of  Gen- 
eral Pickett;  Terry's  brigade  being  commanded  by  Major  W. 
W,  Bentley,  of  the  24th  regiment;  that  of  Corse  by  Colonel 
Arthur  Herbert;  that  of  Hunton  by  Major  M.  P.  Spessard.  On 
the  9th  General  Pickett  surrendered  1031  officers  and  men.  The 
men  captured  in  the  battle  of  Five  Forks,  as  well  also  as  those 
captured  at  Sailor's  creek,  were  sent  to  prison  at  Point  Look- 
out, Maryland,  from  whence  they  were  discharged  in  the  June 
and  July  following.  Those  surrendered  at  Appomattox  were 
paroled  and  went  home.  Of  McCausland's  cavalry  brigade 
there  were  surrendered  at  Appomattox  27  oflicers  and  men. 
Wharton's  division,  or  what  remained  of  it  after  the  disaster 
at  Waynesboro,  with  other  troops  in  Southwestern  Virginia, 
under  the  command  of  General  Early,  were,  on  learning  of  Gen- 
eral Lee's  surrender  at  Appomattox,  disbanded  at  Christians- 
burg,  Virginia.  (General  Early  had  been  sick  for  some  days 
previous  to  the  surrender  and  was  riding  in  an  ambulance,  and 
as  said,  when  receiving  reliable  information  of  the  surrender 
at  Appomattox  remarked,  prefixing  some  expletives,  "I  wish 
Gabriel  would  now  blow  his  horn." 

During  the  year  of  1864,  along  the  border  of  Western  and 

1861-1865  315 

Southwestern  Virginia,  in  Monroe,  Mercer  and  other  counties, 
many  outrages  were  committed  by  bands  of  thieves  and  robbers 
who  roamed  over  the  country,  regarding  neither  friend  nor 
foe,  but  seeking  their  own  gain  and  gratifying  their  own  spleen 
against  non-combatants.  There  lived  on  Flat  Top  mountain  a 
staunch  Southern  man  by  the  name  of  James  Wiley,  quietly  at 
home  and  disturbing  no  one.  He  was  attacked  in  his  own  house 
by  one  of  the  bands  referred  to,  but  succeeded  in  driving  them 
off,  being  aided  by  his  young  son,  Milton,  and  wounding  one 
of  the  gang.  A  short  time  afterwards  he  and  his  son  w^ere 
again  attacked  bv  another  one  of  these  bands  and  killed.  This 
occurred  in  the  spring  of  1862.  On  another  occasion,  in  1864, 
Mr.  Albert  B.  Calfee,  with  his  younger  brother,  John  C.  Cal- 
fee,  and  Mr.  Elisha  Heptinstall,  were  traveling  from  the  resi- 
dence of  Colonel  William  H.  French,  in  Mercer  County,  to- 
ward the  Court  House,  and  were  fired  upon  by  a  band  of  these 
marauders  from  ambush,  and  Heptinstall  was  killed  and  John 
C.  Calfee  mortally  wounded.  This  occurred  on  the  8th  day  of 
August,  1864.  About  the  same  time  a  party  of  Confederate 
outlaws  went  to  the  house  of  Mr,  Jacob  Harper,  in  Raleigh 
County,  and  took  him  a  prisoner,  led  him  out  into  the  woods 
and  shot  him.  Harper  was  a  plain,  honest,  upright,  peaceable 
citizen  and  harmed  no  one. 

The  war  was  now  practically  over  and  no  malice  existed  be- 
tween those  who  did  the  actual  fighting  in  the  battle.  The 
question  of  secession  being  one  left  open  by  the  framers  of  the 
Federal  Constitution,  every  man  had  a  right  to  exercise  his 
own  opinion  in  regard  thereto,  and  hence  he  had  a  right  to 
fight  on  the  one  side  or  the  other  as  to  him  might  seem  right 
and  proper,  provided  lie  fought  for  his  convictions.  The  Con- 
federate soldier  fought  for  a  principle  as  sacred  to  him  as  the 
one  for  which  the  Federal  soldier  battled.  Again,  this  Con- 
federate soldier  felt  that  he  had  discharged  his  duty  and  had 
nothing  to  ask  forgiveness  for  and  asked  none.  He  had  no 
apologies  to  offer  or  make;  he  had  fought  manfully  the  in- 
vaders of  his  soil,  who  came  to  kill  and  destroy.     He  did  not 

310  Xew  River  Settlements 

ask  those  who  fought  against  him  in  the  war  to  forget  the  strug- 
gle; let  them  remember  it  if  they  might,  but  we  would  not  for- 
get it  if  we  could,  and  could  not  if  we  would.  We  intend  to 
perpetuate  the  memories  of  the  conflict,  the  battles  won  or  lost 
we  intend  shall  be  remembered  to  latest  generations.  Will  the 
world  forget  IMarathon,  Waterloo  or  Thermopylne?  No  more 
than  it  will  forget  Manassas,  Sharpsburg,  Chancelorsville, 
Gettysburg,  the  Wilderness  or  Spottsylvania.  The  contest  was 
between  Americans,  and  their  deeds  of  heroism  and  valor  are 
the  common  heritage  of  the  American  people.  The  story  is  told 
of  the  great  and  gifted  preacher,  Henry  Ward  Beecher,  that  in 
the  early  part  of  the  year  1862  he  visited  England  and  was 
invited  to  make  a  speech.  The  crowd  was  exceedingly  boister- 
ous and  he  was  howled  and  hissed  at  so  that  he  could  not  be 
heard,  but  finally  a  large  brawny  Englishman,  with  a  broad, 
big  mouth  and  stentorian  voice,  shouted :  "You  told  us  you 
would  whip  the  Rebels  in  ninety  days  and  you  have  not  done 
it."  The  crowd  becoming  quiet  for  a  moment,  Mr.  Beecher 
said:  "If  you  will  be  quiet  for  a  moment  I  will  tell  you  why; 
when  we  started  out  in  the  war  and  made  the  statement  that 
we  would  whip  them  in  ninety  days,  we  thought  we  were  fight- 
ing Englishmen,  but  we  soon  found  out  that  we  were  fighting 
Americans."  There  will  never  be  in  the  history  of  the  world 
such  soldiers  as  the  Confederate — the  Confederate  Private. 
While  it  is  true  that  the  world  has  furnished  few,  if  any,  such 
men  as  Lee,  Jackson,  Johnston,  Ikniuregard,  Stuart,  and  many 
other  Confederate  (Jenerals  that  might  be  mentioned;  but  it 
must  not  be  forgotten  that  no  Generals  ever  led  forth  such  men 
to  battle  as  the  Confederate  soldier.  His  like  will  never  be 
seen  again.  Some  one  has  written  some  lines  in  regard  to  the 
(Confederate  private,  a  few  of  which  are  here  inserted: 

"From  every  home  in  the  sweet  Southland 
Went  a  soldier  lad,  at  his  heart's  command, 
To  fipht  in  a  cause  both  true  and  just, 
To  conquer  or  to  die,  as  a  hero  must. 

The  hardships  of  war  bravely  bore. 
And  proudly  the  shabby  gray  he  wore, 

1861-18G5  317 

T'was  the  only  color  on  earth  for  him; 
Not  hunger  or  thirst  could  his  spirit  dim. 

With  every  battle  hope  sprang  up  anew; 
He  felt  that  the  cause  he  loved  was  true, 
And  surely  the  God  who  brave  men  led 
Would  help  and  guide  them,  living  or  dead. 

Sometimes  they  won,  then  hope  ran  high; 
Again  they  lost,  but  it  would  not  die. 
They  were  privates  only,  and  theirs  to  obey; 
Nor  theirs  to  command  or  lead  the  fray. 

But  theirs  to  endure  and  follov/  and  fight; 
To  know  that  the  cause  they  loved  was  right. 
And  so  to  the  end  they  followed  and  fought. 
With  love  and  devotion  which  could  not  be  bought." 

After  the  surrender  at  Appomattox  arrangements  were  soon 
made  by  the  Federal  Government  to  release  the  Confederate 
prisoners  in  its  hands,  of  whom  there  were  many  thousands. 
They  began  to  return  home  during  the  months  of  June  and  July, 
and  they  were  pitiable  looking  objects  indeed.  Peglegs,  stub 
arms,  sunken  eyes,  emaciated  frames,  teeth  loose  and  falling 
out  on  account  of  scurvy,  with  health  broken  and  hope  almost 
gone;  returning  to  the  land  of  their  nativity  to  find  it  prac- 
tically a  waste  place. 

Thousands  of  men  on  both  sides  of  our  great  civil  conflict 
perished  in  military  prisons;  charges,  criminations  and  re- 
criminations of  ill  and  inhuman  treatment  of  prisoners  by  both 
sides  were  made.  It  may  be  here  noted,  that  military  prison  life 
is  horrible  at  any  time  and  under  any  circumstances.  A  great 
bodv  of  men  thrown  and  huddled  together  are  not  onlv  difficult 
to  control  and  manage  under  the  best  system  of  dicipline  that 
can  be  adopted,  but  such  masses  are  always  subject  to  disease 
in  every  form.  The  facts  are  too  plain  and  manifest  to  admit 
of  doubt,  that  the  oflicials  of  the  Federal  Government  were  J^  , 
wholly  to  blame  for  all  the  ills  and  horrible  results  that  hefe\\'T^ 
these  poor  prisoners,  their  own  as  Avell  as  the  Confederates,  be- 
cause of,  first,  the  obstacles  tliey  placed  in  the  way  of  a  fair 
exchange,  and  in  the  next  place  by  their  absolute  refusal  to 
exchange  at  all.  That  there  were  isolated  cases  of  bad  treat- 
ment of  Federal  prisoners  by  Confederate  prison  keepers  is 

318                            New  River  Settlements 

y  I  doubtless  true,  but  if  so.  they  Avere  fev.'  in  nniiiber  and  excep- 
r^'  jftonal  cases,  while  on  the  other  hand  the  keepers  of  Federal 
^'^  prisons  v/ere  cruel  and  brutal  in  their  treatment  of  Confeder- 
/*'  ate  prisoners,  and  this  with  full  knowledge  on  tlie  part  of  the 
Federal  authorities.  The  North  was  full-handed  with  provi- 
sions and  medicines,  while  the  South  was  impoverished.  For 
those  whom  the  fortunes  of  war  had  placed  in  their  hands,  the 
South  did  the  very  best  it  could,  giving  to  them  the  same  ra- 
tions that  the  soldiers  in  the  field  received;  while  the  Federal 
authorities  in  the  midst  of  abundance  willfully  inflicted 
wanton  deprivation  on  the  Confederate  prisoners.  An  examin 
ation  of  the  reports  of  the  Federal  Secretary  of  War  made  in 
1866,  shows  that  22,576  Federal  prisoners  died  in  Southern 
prisons,  and  that  22,246  Confederate  prisoners  died  in  Northern 
prisons.  The  report  of  the  Surgeon  General  of  the  United 
States  shows  that  in  round  numbers,  the  Confederate  pris- 
oners in  the  hands  of  the  Federal  authorities  numbered  220,- 
000,  out  of  which  26,246  died.  That  out  of  270,000  Federal 
prisoners  held  by  the  South,  22,576  died ;  more  than  12  per  cent, 
of  the  Confederate  prisoners,  and  less  than  9  per  cent,  of  Fed- 
eral prisoners  died.  The  urgency  of  the  Northern  people  at 
home,  as  well  as  many  prominent  Federal  officers  favoring  ex- 
change of  prisoners,  drew  from  General  Grant  a  letter  to  Gen- 
eral Butler,  dated  August  18th,  1864,  in  which  he  says:  ''It  is 
hard  on  our  men  held  in  the  Southern  prisons  not  to  exchange 
them,  but  it  is  humanity  to  those  left  in  the  ranks  to  fight  our 
battles.  Every  man  released  on  parole,  or  otherwise,  becomes 
an  active  soldier  against  us  at  once,  either  directly  or  indirect- 
ly. If  we  commence  a  system  of  exchange  which  liberates  all 
prisoners  taken,  we  will  have  to  fight  on  until  the  whole  South 
is  exterminated.  If  we  hold  those  caught,  they  amount  to  no 
more  than  dead  men.  At  this  i)articular  time  to  release  all 
Rebel  prisoners  in  the  North  Avould  insure  Sherman's  defeat 
and  would  compromise  our  safety  here." 

Among  the  men  of  Mercer  County  who  perished  in  Northern 
prisons  were  Robert  H.  Brian,  A.  I.  Golden,  J.  H.  Godby,  H. 

1866-1905  319 

F.  Hatcher,  William  Keaton,  W.  J.  Keaton  and  John  W.  Nel- 
son. These  men  died  in  Camp  Chase,  Ohio,  during  the  latter 
part  of  the  war. 




Eecoi'oSti'Kction  in  Mercer  County,  W.  Va. — Constitutional 
Amendment  Disfranchising  Confederates. — Registration 
Law. — County  Seat  Agitation. — The  "Committee  of  Safe- 
ty."— The  Creation  of  Summers  County. — The  Restoration 
of  the  Elective  Franchise. — Industrial  I^evelopment. — 
The  Flat  Top  Coal  Field.— Railroad  Construction.— The 
Citv  of  Bluefield. 

The  Confederate  soldier,  with  the  close  of  the  war,  returned 
to  his  country,  where  he  had  once  had  a  place  he  called  home, 
but  now — at  least  in  many  instances — he  found  nothing  but 
blackened  ruins  and  utter  waste  places.  As  he  had  been  brave 
and  magnanimous  in  war,  and  had  in  good  faith  laid  down  his 
arms,  he  returned  to  engage  not  in  war,  but  in  peaceful  pur- 
suits, build  up  and  start  anew  and  become  a  useful  citizen  of 
the  young  Commonwealth.  He  had  no  money  or  property,  save 
perhaps  a  small  piece  of  land,  if  he  had  been  fortunate  enough 
to  own  such  before  the  war.  In  many  instances,  an  arm  or 
leg  had  been  lost  in  battle,  or  his  health  greatly  shattered.  He 
was  not  the  man  he  was  when  he  entered  the  army ;  and  many 
of  his  nearest — dearest  friends,  relatives — had  perished  in  the 
strife.  His  only  trust  was  in  God  and  his  own  good  right  arm, 
if  he  was  fortunate  to  have  that  limb  left.  On  all  sides  were 
gloom  and  despair,  to  a  less  braver  heart  and  manlier  spirit. 
He  sought  no  quarrel  with  anyone,  only  asked  to  be  free,  not 
disturbed,  and  he  would  try  and  work  his  way  through  the 
remainder  of  his  days  as  best  he  might.  He  neither  wanted  nor 
sought  revenge  for  wrongs,  real  or  imaginary.    That  for  which 

320  New  River  Settlements 

for  four  years  he  had  struggled  and  suffered  had  not  been  ac- 
conii)lished,  and  the  effort  to  establisli  it  had  failed.  Nothing 
was  left  him  but  to  live  lor  the  future,  in  the  consciousness  of 
having  faithfully  discharged  his  duty  in  the  past,  and  with  a 
fixed  determination  to  do  this  in  the  future.  The  Governor  of 
his  state  (2),  in  a  letter  to  the  Federal  Secretary  of  War,  op- 
posed his  return  to  his  country,  and  a  few  in  his  midst  desired 
to  rob  him  of  his  rights  as  a  citizen  of  the  new  Commonwealth. 
In  time  of  profound  peace,  unarmed,  perhaps  with  but  one  leg 
or  one  arm,  broken  in  health  and  in  purse  he  was  as  much 
feared  as  when  he  carried  his  musket  with  forty  rounds  of 
cartridges,  marching  beneath  the  "Stars  and  Bars.''  If  he  was 
found  with  an  old,  poor,  crippled  mule  or  horse,  that  General 
Grant  had  given  him  at  Appomattox,  trying  to  plow  and  make 
bread  for  his  starving  wife  and  children,  he  was  robbed  of  this 
upon  the  plea  that  it  was  Government  property,  either  Federal 
or  Rebel.  It  was  dig  or  die  and  his  enemies  preferred  him  to 
take  the  latter  course. 

It  is  true  that  at  that  time  he  was  a  citizen  of  the  state  with 
all  his  rights  as  such  guaranteed  to  him  by  the  Constitution  of 
the  new  Commonwealth,  with  no  law  in  force  that  in  any  way 
deprived  him  of  the  privilege  of  full  citizenship ;  but  the  devil 
is  always  ready  to  aid  the  ingenuity  of  bad  men  to  accomplish 
bad  things,  and  hence  the  only  way,  in  a  measure,  at  least,  to 
get  rid  of  the  ex-Confederate  soldier,  was  to  decitizenize  him, 
and  thereby  either  drive  him  from  the  state,  or  place  him  in  a 
condition  of  political  vassalage  or  serfdom.  The  political  ma- 
chinery was  put  to  work  to  accomplish  the  purpose  in  view  by 
decitizenizing  all  ex-Confederates,  as  well  also  as  all  who  had 
aided  or  sympathized  with  them.  This  could  not  be  done  under 
the  then  existing  organic  law  of  the  state,  and  a  change  in  this 
law  was  necessary  to  the  accomplishment  of  the  object  in  view; 
but  be  it  said  to  the  credit  of  the  better  class  of  the  then  domi- 
nant party,  they  took  no  part  in  this  crime  against  liberty,  and 
did  not  seek  to  fix  manacles  on  the  poor  Confederate — it  was 

(2).    Boreman  to  Staunton  Series  II.  Vol.  VIII,  Reb.  Record  p.  533 

1866-1905  321 

the  other  set,  generally  of  the  vile  and  vindictive;  when 
"Prometheus  was  chained  to  the  rock  it  was  not  the  proud 
Eagle,  but  the  miserable  Vulture  that  came  down  and  tore  out 
his  vitals."  In  all  great  revolutions,  like  in  all  the  great  floods 
of  waters,  it  is  the  filth  and  foul  things  that  rise  to  the  surface 
and  float,  while  the  gold  lies  at  the  bottom. 

It  was  late  in  the  fall  of  1865  before  there  was  anything  like 
the  full  restoration  of  Civil  Government  in  Mercer  County.  All 
things  in  Government  were  new  or  novel  to  the  people.  They 
had  alwavs  known,  and  their  ancestors  before  them  had  known 
for  more  than  a  century,  nothing  but  the  old  Virginia  County 
Court  system,  with  one  or  more  magistrates  in  each  magisterial 
district  in  the  county,  clothed  with  jurisdiction  to  try  warrants 
for  small  claims,  and  to  sit  as  a  Court  and  administer  county 
aft'airs.  The  Circuit  Court  trying  all  criminal  and  civil  cases, 
as  well  as  chancery  causes.  Now  they  found  magisterial  dis- 
tricts no  longer  in  existence;  townships  created  in  their  stead, 
with  a  justice  of  the  peace  in  each  township,  and  he  regarded 
the  biggest  man  therein,  although  in  some  instances  he  could 
not  write  his  name  and  perhaps  did  not  know  the  way  to  the 
mill,  with  jurisdiction  to  try  cases  involving  an  hundred  dol- 
lars, with  the  right  to  empannel  a  jury  of  six  men.  In  lieu  of 
tlie  old  County  Court,  a  Board  of  Supervisors  to  administer 
county  affairs,  and  this  board,  in  part,  at  least,  was  composed 
of  men  who  not  only  could  not  write  their  names,  but  whose 
honesty  was  not  above  par;  however,  this  was  only  true  for  a 
short  while,  when  better  men  were  selected  for  this  position, 
such  as  L,  D.  Martin,  Silas  T.  Reynolds,  William  C.  Honaker, 
and  others. 

Judge  Nathaniel  Harrison,  of  Monroe  County,  having  been 
made  Circuit  Judge  very  soon  after  the  close  of  hostilities, 
appointed  Benjamine  White,  Sherifl',  and  George  Evans,  Clerk 
and  Recorder  of  Mercer  County.  White  had  been  a  violent 
Secessionist  at  the  commencement  of  the  war,  but  had  changed 
his  views  somewhat  about  the  close  thereof;  while  Mr.  Evans, 
being  a  Northern  man  by  birth,  was  doubtless  a  Union  man 

322  New  River  Settlements 

from  tlie  beginning.  Judge  Harrison  (1)  had  been  a  Con- 
federate, and  as  late  as  18(>2  bad  applied  for  appointment  on 
the  staff  of  Brigadier  General  Chapman.  Thus  it  will  be  seen 
that  men  who  started  out  on  the  Southern  side,  found  out  their 
mistake,  as  they  claimed,  in  the  latter  part  of  the  war  or  just 
about  the  close,  were  honored.  They  started  out  in  the  boat 
and  as  long  as  there  was  fair  breeze  and  it  floated  well,  they 
were  willing  to  stay,  but  when  adverse  winds  blew  and  it  was 
threatened  with  wreck  and  disaster,  they  jumped  out,  pulled 
for  the  shore  and  left  their  friends  to  perish  if  they  must. 
This  was  true  of  more  than  one  man  in  Mercer  County,  even 
extending  to  those  who  had  volunteered  in  the  army  and  taken 
an  oath  to  support  the  Confederate  Government ;  yet,  disregard- 
ing their  oaths,  deserted  and  went  over  to  the  enemy,  and  this  is 
not  all,  came  back  among  their  neighbors  and  friends  and  en- 
gaged in  pillage  in  its  worst  form.  These  deserters  were  with- 
out honor  among  their  own  people  and  distrusted  and  despised 
by  those  to  whom  they  deserted. 

In  the  fall  of  1805  Judge  Harrison  rode  into  the  town  of 
Princeton ;  that  is,  where  it  once  stood,  sat  on  his  horse,  no  one 
inviting  him  to  stop  or  alight ;  he  rode  seven  and  one-half  miles 
east  to  Concord  Church  on  the  Red  Sulphur  turnpike  road 
where  he  opened  and  held  his  court.  The  ex-Confederates  who 
Lad  been  elected  at  the  election  that  fall  were  arbitrarily  re- 
fused permission  to  qualify,  and  others  who  claimed  to  have 
adhered  to  the  Union  were  installed  in  their  stead. 

The  Legislature  met  at  Wheeling  in  .January,  1866,  and  in  a 
contest  Colonel  ^yilliam  H.  French,  who  had  been  elected  to 
that  body  was  unseated  by  Colonel  Thomas  Little,  who  had  not 
been  elected.  By  a  joint  resolution  of  the  two  Houses,  an 
amendment  to  the  (Jonstitution  was  proposed,  by  which,  if 
adopted,  all  ex-Confederates  and  their  sym])athizers  would  be 
decitizenized.  At  the  session  which  j)rovided  for  the  submis- 
sion of  tlie  amendment  to  the  Constitution,  which  had  been  pro- 

(l).  Articles  of  impeachment  were  exhibited  against  him  in  the 
Legislature  and  he  was  forced  to  resign  the  Judgship. 

1866-1905  323 

posed  in  the  session  of  1865,  an  Act  was  passed  declaring  that 
no  one  should  be  allowed  to  vote  at  the  next  sncceeding  elec- 
tion, except  those  who  would  take  a  prescribed  oath  known  as 
the  "Test  Oath."  The  amendment  referred  to  is  in  the  follow- 
ing words  and  figures :  "No  person  who  since  the  1st  day  of 
June,  1861,  has  given  or  shall  give  voluntary  aid  or  assistance 
to  the  rebellion  against  the  United  States,  shall  be  a  citizen  of 
this  state,  or  be  allowed  to  vote  at  any  election  held  therein, 
unless  he  has  volunteered  in  the  military  or  naval  service  of 
the  United  States  and  has  been  or  shall  be  honorably  discharged 
therefrom."  This  was  the  first  instance  in  the  history  of  a  free 
government,  where  the  Legislature  plainly  and  intentionally 
subverted  the  Constitution  of  a  free  state,  and  openly  and  de- 
liberately violated  their  oaths  and  the  plain  provision  of  the 
(Constitution,  which  provided  that  "The  white  male  citizens  of 
the  state  shall  be  entitled  to  vote  at  all  elections  held  within  the 
election  districts  in  which  they  resi)ectively  reside."  The  elec- 
tion at  which  this  amendment  to  the  Constitution  was  to  be 
voted  upon  by  the  people,  was  held  on  the  24th  day  of  May, 
1866,  and  was  ratified  by  a  vote  of  22,224  for,  to  15,302  against 
the  same.  Only  75  votes  were  cast  in  the  County  of  Mercer,  of 
which  61  were  for  ratification  and  14  for  rejection,  yet  the  vot- 
ing population  at  that  time  in  Mercer  County  under  the  Consti- 
tution as  it  then  existed,  was  not  less  than  1,000.  Among  those 
voting  against  this  iniquity  in  Mercer  will  be  found  the  names 
of  Colonel  Thomas  Little,  David  Lilley,  Sylvester  Upton,  and 
Kussell  G.  French,  the  latter  classed  an  ex-Federal  soldier. 

Truly  loyal  officers  were  now  elected  to  the  various  ofljces, 
and  finding  so  few  regarded  as  qualified  to  discharge  the  duties 
of  the  same,  it  was  found  necessary  to  give  two  or  three  offices 
to  one  man ;  in  fact  in  one  or  more  instances  it  was  stated  that 
one  or  more  men  held  at  least  five  offices  each  at  the  same  time. 

The  Legislature  of  West  Virginia  not  only  disfranchised  men 
and  kept  them  from  voting,  but  passed  numerous  laws  prevent- 
ing attorneys  from  practicing  their  profession,  people  from 
teaching  school,  men  from  sitting  on  juries,  or  from  prosecut- 

324  New  River  Settlements 

ing  suits,  unless  lliey  would  take  the  ''Test  Oatlu"  These  laws 
against  attorneys  who  luifl  been  engaged  as  soldiers  in  the 
Confederate  army,  or  had  sympathized  with  those  engaged  in 
armed  hostility  against  the  Government  of  the  United  States, 
brought  to  the  Courts  of  the  state,  especially  in  the  Southern 
border  counties,  swarms  of  ill  pests.  Northern  carpet-bag 
lawyers,  who  without  practice  where  they  came  from,  and  per- 
haps having  left  their  country  for  their  country's  good,  came 
to  feast  and  to  fatten  on  the  miseries  and  sufferings  of  the 
poor,  downtrodden,  disfranchised,  tax  ridden  Confederate  peo- 
ple. The  voice  of  the  lawyer  of  the  community,  to  whom  the 
people  looked  for  aid  and  were  willing  to  trust  their  lives, 
property  and  honor  in  his  hands,  was,  with  few  exceptions,  re- 
fused a  hearing  in  the  court  room.  There  were  a  few  attorneys 
residents,  or  who  became  residents,  who  were  Union  men,  fair- 
minded  and  just,  among  them  Henry  L.  Gillispie,  James  H. 
McGinnis,  Frank  Hereford,  J.  Speed  Thompson,  Edwin  Sehon, 
and  Colonel  James  W.  Davis;  the  latter  gentlemen  had  been  a 
Colonel  in  the  Confederate  army,  but  had  succeeded  in  persuad- 
ing the  Legislature  that  he  was  a  truly  repentant  rebel,  sorry 
for  his  sins,  and  succeeded  in  getting  that  body,  by  special  Act, 
to  forgive  his  waywardness  and  restore  to  him  the  privilege  of 
practicing  his  profession  without  taking  the  attorneys'  "Test 

Shortly  after  Colonel  Davis  had  been  permitted  to  enter 
again  upon  the  practice  of  the  law,  he  was  employed  in  a 
case  in  tlie  Circuit  Court  of  Mercer  County,  involving  the  title 
to  a  horse,  which  had  been  taken  or  stolen  from  Colonel  John  S. 
Carr  during  the  war.  On  the  other  side  of  the  case  was  the  witty 
Irish  lawyer,  J.  H.  McGinnis,  of  Raleigh.  In  course  of  the  argu- 
ment of  Colonel  Davis  before  the  jury  he  took  occasion  to  say 
how  good  and  magnanimous  the  Legislature  had  been  to  him,  by 
again  conferring  on  him  the  privilege  to  earn  a  living  for  his 
family  by  the  practice  of  his  profession;  he  followed  this  by 
a  bit  of  his  war  experience  in  the  battle  of  Chapmansville,  de- 
scribing the  wounds  he  received  by  which  he  lost  a  finger,  and 


1866-1905  325 

received  a  sliot  in  the  shoulder  and  back.  The  resourceful  Mc- 
Ginnis,  while  listeniug  to  the  Colonel's  speech,  had  composed 
some  verses  which  in  his  reply,  and  in  his  inimitable  way,  he 
repeated,  nu:ch  to  the  discomfiture  of  the  Colonel,  but  to  tJie 
joy  of  the  bystanders;  only  one  of  which  verses  is  recollected, 
and  ran  as  follows : 

"On  the  battlefield  I  long  did  linger 

Where  guns  and  cannons  they  did  crack, 

Until  by  a  cruel  shot,  I  lost  this  finger. 
And  got  this  hole  in  my  back." 

In  order  to  efi'ectuate  the  purpose  of  the  framers  of  the  Con- 
stitutional amendment  and  disfranchisement  law  already  ad- 
verted to,  the  Legislature  enacted  what  was  known  as  a  Reg- 
istration law,  providing  for  a  registration  of  the  voters  and 
creating  a  Board  of  Registration  composed  of  three  members-^ 
to  be  appointed  by  the  Governor,  and  to  hold  their  office  at 
his  will  and  pleasure.  This  proved  a  powerful  weapon  in  the 
hands  of  the  party  then  in  power,   who  evidently   intended 
thereby  to  perpetuate  tliemselves  therein.     It  was  almost  the 
equal  of  the  proposed  "Force  Bill"  introduced  into  Congress 
a  few  years  ago,  if  it  had  been  wielded  by  wise  and  conserva- 
tive heads,  and  would  have  kept  the  then  dominant  political 
party  long  in  power  in  the  state;  but  like  all  other  engines  of 
oppression,  originated  and  constructed  in  Republics  for  the 
destruction  of  the  liberty  of  the  Anglo-Saxon,  they  became  a 
boomerang  in  the  hands  of  those  who  wielded  them,  finally 
effecting  their  own  destruction.     It  is  said,  "Whom  the  gods 
would  destroy  they  first  make  mad.''    This  was  certainly  true 
of  the  dominant  party  in  West  Virginia  at  that  time,  and  espe- 
cially in  Mercer  County.    Their  apparent  inordinate  desire  to 
punish  those  who  differed  with  them  about  the  great  civil  con- 
flict, and  the  quest  of  individuals  for  place  and  power,  led  them 
to  extremes  in  the  Legislature,  and  the  enforcement  of  pro- 
scriptive  laws.    They  very  soon  began  to  quarrel  among  them- 
selves, and  the  scramble  for  the  public  pap,  and  the  crumbs 
which  fell  from  the  master's  table  engendei*ed,  as  it  always 

32G  New  River  Settlements 

does,  bad  blood.  Very  soon  the  better  and  more  conservative 
part  of  the  dominant  party  became  disousted  and  disposed  to 
fall  in  with  tlieir  neiohbors — ex-C'onfederates — insisting  upon 
according  to  them  some  rights,  besides  the  payment  of  taxes 
and  right  to  die. 

As  already  staled  in  this  worl^,  the  County  site  had  in  the 
year  of  1837  been  fixed  at  a  place  called  Princeton,  but  so  soon 
as  the  Judge  of  the  Circuit  Court  opened  and  held  a  term  of 
court  at  Concord  Church,  some  of  the  people  in  that  and  other 
sections  of  the  county  began  the  agitation  of  a  removal  of  the 
County  site  from  Princeton  to  Concord  Church.  Steps  were 
very  soon  taken  to  have  the  Board  of  Supervisors  order  an 
election  removing  the  seat  of  Justice  from  Princeton  to  Con- 
cord Church ;  and  an  election  was  held,  but  Concord  Church 
failing  to  receive  the  requisite  three-fifths  vote,  the  removal- 
ists  failed  in  their  scheme.  Very  soon  another  election  was 
held  which  also  failed,  but  the  Board  was  induced  to  declare 
the  result  in  favor  of  removal. 

Colonel  Thomas  Little,  the  Delegate  from  the  County  to  the 
Legii^lature  at  its  session  of  1867,  procured  the  passage  of  an 
Act  locating  permanently  the  County  site  at  Princeton,  but 
at  the  ses?sion  of  1808  George  Evans,  the  Representative  from 
Mercer  (.'ouuty,  procured  the  repeal  of  the  Act  of  1807 ;  and 
HO  the  fight  continued  both  before  the  people  and  in  the  Courts. 
Injunctions  vrere  obtained  first  by  one  and  then  by  the  other 
})a.rty  until  the  question  was  finally  settled  as  will  be  herein- 
after slated.  The  litigation  over  the  County  Court  House 
question  ended  with  the  disposition  of  the  Bill,  prepared  by  one 
Martin  11.  Holt,  un  attorney  of  Raleigh  County,  which  was 
known  as  the  celebrated  "Bill  of  Peace,''  in  which  appeared  the 
names  of  the  Board  of  Sujiervisors  of  the  County,  a  corpora- 
tion, plaintiff  against  a  large  i)art  of  the  people  of  the  county, 
who  favored  I*rinceton  as  the  seat  of  Justice,  as  defendants. 
Ill  this  Bill  was  set  forth  the  various  steps,  acts,  doings  and 
proceedings  from  which  it  was  contended  that  the  County  site 

1866-1905  327 

had  been  removed  from  Princeton  and  located  at  Concord 
Church,  and  also  setting  forth  the  Acts  of  the  Legislature 
touching  the  same  as  hereinbefore  referred  to;  and  alleging 
and  charging  in  etfect  that  all  of  the  people  of  the  county  who 
were  opposed  to  Concord  Church  as  the  lawful  and  proper  loca- 
tion for  the  seat  of  Justice,  were  a  lawless  band  and  disturbers 
of  tlie  quietude  of  the  people  and  of  the  public  peace,  and  pray- 
ing an  injunction  inhibiting  and  restraining  them  from  fur- 
ther action  looking  to  the  opening  of  the  question.  An  injunc- 
tion was  granted,  but  about  as  quickly  dissolved,  and  as  before 
stated,  this  was  the  end  of  all  litigation  concerning  this  trouble- 
some matter. 

In  January,  1870,  a  few  of  the  citizens  of  the  little  village 
of  Princeton  assembled  and  constituted  themselves  a  Commit- 
tee of  Safety,  for  the  purpose  of  devising  a  plan  by  which  the 
much  vexed  County  site  question  might  be  finally  settled.  After 
a  careful  review  and  consideration  of  the  situation  in  all  its 
aspects,  local,  political,  and  otherwise,  it  was  concluded  that 
the  first  and  best  step  to  take  was  to  have  the  Legislature  of 
the  State,  then  in  session  at  WTieeling,  pass  a  special  Act  sub- 
mitting to  the  people  the  question  of  the  location  of  the  seat 
of  justice,  to  be  settled  by  a  majority  vote.  In  order  to  get 
such  a  law  passed,  it  was  deemed  necessary  to  send  to  the  seat 
of  government  a  man  who  was  recognized  as  belonging  to  and 
a  leader  of  the  dominant  i)arty  then  in  control  of  the  Legisla- 
ture. The  man  was  found  in  the  person  of  Mr.  Benjamine 
White,  who  had  been  and  was  still  the  Sheriff  of  the  county. 
White  was  a  man  of  influence  and  weight  in  the  county  with  his 
party,  and  was  fairly  well  known  in  the  southern  part  of  the 
state,  and  a  man  of  fair  address,  and  when  aroused  was  a  bold 
and  plausible  talker,  and  could  make  himself  felt  in  any  enter- 
prise or  cause  he  chose  to  esj)ouse.  He  was  going  on  public 
business,  but  in  the  interest  of  Princeton ;  which  neither  he 
nor  those  in  the  secret  let  tlie  public  know.  Once  in  Wheeling 
and  the  matter  being  put  under  way,  on  account  of  the  irregu- 
larity and  uncertainty  of  mails  and  the  long  time  that  it  took 

328  New  River  Settlements 

letters  and  papers  to  reach  our  section  in  midwinter,  it  was 
felt  that  no  intelligence  of  what  was  going  on  at  the  capitol 
was  likely  to  reach  Mercer  Countv  until  the  mission  of  the  mes- 
senger  had  been  accomplished  and  the  Legislature  adjourned; 
which  would  then  be  too  late  for  any  organized  opposition  to 
Mr.  White's  bill,  should  anyone  wish  to  oppose  so  fair  a  mode 
of  settlement  of  our  local  trouble.  As  before  stated,  Mr.  White 
was  going  on  public  business,  and  it  was  not  to  be  expected 
that  he  would  be  compelled  to  pay  his  personal  expenses,  there- 
fore a  few  persons  raised  and  placed  in  his  hands  $100.00  to 
meet  these  expenses.  There  were  no  railroads  in  this  immedi- 
ate section  in  that  day  and  no  public  conveyances  of  any  kind, 
so  Mr.  White,  in  the  dead  of  winter,  mounted  his  horse  and 
pushed  out  over  the  mountains  to  the  Kanawha,  where  he  took 
passage  on  a  steamboat  to  Wheeling  by  way  of  the  Kanawha 
and  Ohio  Rivers.  On  his  arrival  at  the  capitol  and  meeting 
several  of  his  acquaintances  and  political  friends,  and  laying 
the  matter  in  hand  before  them,  he  soon  had  his  bill  introduced, 
passed  and  was  on  his  way  home  before  the  people  of  Mercer 
County  knew  what  had  transpired.  The  Committee  of  Safety 
was  composed  of  Captain  John  A.  Douglass,  Mr.  H.  W.  Straley, 
Major  C.  D.  Straley,  Mr.  Joseph  H.  Alvis,  Mr.  William  Oliver 
and  this  writer.  To  insure  success  perfect  secrecy  was  neces- 
sary, and  the  Committee  of  Safety  made  and  took  a  solemn 
pledge  that  nothing  which  was  said  or  done  touching  this  mat- 
ter should  be  divulged  by  them  to  anyone;  and  none  were  ad- 
mitted to  their  counsels,  except  those  who  gave  the  pledge  to 
each  other  to  keep  within  their  own  breasts  whatever  happened 
or  was  resolved  upon.  It  soon  became  known  where  we  held 
our  meetings,  at  one  of  which,  a  slight  disagreement  or  mis- 
understanding with  our  friend  Mr.  White  took  place,  and  he 
withdrew  and  we  were  afterwards  termed  by  him  the  "Town 
Clique."  We  were  not  offended  at  this,  however,  as  it  is  well 
known  that  all  towns  are  said  to  have  their  "Cliques."  At 
our  first  meeting  after  Mr.  White's  return  from  Wheeling, 
held  at  our  place  of  general  rendezvous,  there  was  a  very  seri- 

1866-1905  329 

ous  difference  of  opinion  between  members  of  the  Committee, 
Mr.  White  was  for  calling  the  Board  of  Supervisors  of  the 
county  together  at  once  and  having  it  order  a  special  election 
on  the  question  of  the  location  of  the  seat  of  justice;  the  otlier 
members  of  the  Committee  opposed  it,  and  the  vote  of  the 
majority  was  the  law  which  governed  its  actions.  Now  it 
migiit  be  well  to  give  some  of  the  open  reasons  which  were 
expressed  for  not  being  willing  to  hold  the  election  under  the 
new  law  and  before  the  general  election,  w^hich  was  to  take 
place  in  the  following  October.  First,  the  special  law  did  not 
authorize  a  special  registration  of  voters;  secondly,  we  had  a 
board  of  registration  and  by  law  it  could  only  revise  the  regis- 
tration lists  at  certain  stated  periods  before  each  regular  elec- 
tion; third,  if  we  held  the  special  election  under  this  special 
law  with  a  new  registration,  and  succeeded,  the  question  might 
again  get  into  court,  where  it  had  already  been  for  nearly  five 
years,  and  in  the  end  we  might  be  defeated ;  fourth,  there  was 
no  reason  for  haste,  as  the  election  could  be  held  before  an- 
other Legislature  would  assemble  and  have  opportunity  to  re- 
peal the  Act,  These,  as  have  been  stated,  were  the  open  rea- 
sons; but  bevond  these  was  one  which  we  dare  not  disclose  to 
any  but  the  truest — the  trusted  and  the  tried. 

Fully  seventy-five  per  cent,  of  our  people  were  proscribed  and 
disfranchised  by  the  provisions  of  our  Constitution,  and  obnox- 
ious laws  upon  our  statute  books ;  and  civil  and  political  liberty 
to  our  people  were  worth  more  than  Court  Houses,  especially 
as  Court  Houses  were  not  free  to  the  proscribed ;  for  to  that 
class  there  were  but  four  things  free,  viz:  Air,  water,  pay- 
ment of  taxes  and  death ;  therefore  the  passage  of  the  special 
Act,  ostensibly  to  settle  the  Court  House  controversy,  meant 
to  those  in  the  secret  much  more  than  appeared  on  the  surface ; 
it  meant  the  breaking  of  the  bonds  of  political  slavery  and  de- 
citizenship,  under  which  our  people,  probably  twenty-five  thou- 
sand or  more  in  the  state,  had  sufi'ered  and  groaned  for  nearly 
five  years.  It  also  meant  the  again  clothing  of  that  part  of  our 
people  who  had  been  disfranchised,  with  the  right  of  citizen- 

330  New  River  Settlements 

ship  and  of  freemen,  and  restoring  to  them  that  liberty  which 
had  been  torn  and  wrenched  from  them  by  a  set  of  political 
pirates,  most  of  whom  were  moved  only  by  tlie  spirit  of  revenge, 
but  others  by  more  sordid  motives.  By  this  proscriptive  legis- 
lation honest  men  and  women  could  not  by  law  collect  their 
honest  debts,  if  the  debtor  had  been  truly  loyal  to  tlie  Union 
during  the  late  unhappy  strife.  Professional  men  could  not 
practice  their  profession  for  a  livelihood ;  and  no  man  who  had 
engaged  in  the  war  on  the  Confederate  side,  or  had  sympa- 
thized and  given  aid  and  comfort  to  the  Confederates,  could  sit 
upon  a  jury  or  hold  office;  nor  could  the  poor  young  woman, 
the  daughter  of  a  Confederate  soldier,  teach  school  without 
subscribing  to  the  "Test  Oath."  While  these  laws  were  pretty 
rigidly  enforced  for  a  period  of  nearly  five  years,  the  time  was 
rapidly  approaching  when  they  would  become  a  thing  of  the 
past.  As  has  already  been  stated,  the  law  provided  for  the 
appointment  by  the  Governor  of  a  Board  of  Registration,  con- 
sisting of  three  members,  removable  at  his  pleasure.  This 
board  possessed  powers  somewhat  akin  to  that  exercised  by 
the  Spanish  Inquisition;  they  had  power  to  send  for  persons 
and  papers — a  right  to  say  who  should  vote  and  who  should 
not — by  a  mere  stroke  of  the  pen  (that  is,  such  of  them  as  could 
write),  either  to  place  a  man's  name  on  the  list  or  strike  it  off 
at  their  pleasure,  and  in  this  they  were  protected  by  law,  being 
exempt  from  civil  suits  or  criminal  prosecution  for  any  derelic- 
tion or  violation  of  law  connected  with  the  registration  of 
voters,  or  any  other  outrages  they  chose  to  perpetrate  touching 
the  qualification  of  electors  or  the  right  to  vote. 

The  men  composing  tiie  County  Board  of  Registration  of 
Mercer  County  for  a  good  part  of  the  period  referred  to,  were 
in  most  part  honest  men  and  desired  to  do  right  as  far  as  the 
law  allowed  them.  It  was  not  so  much  the  fault  of  the  men 
who  composed  the  Board  in  the  latter  days  of  the  life  of  the 
law,  as  it  was  the  law  and  the  District  registrars,  who  were  not 
always  the  cleanest  birds  that  could  be  found,  for  it  was  an 
open  secret  that  any  man  who   would  promise  to   vote  the 

1866-1905  331 

Republican  ticket,  or  for  any  particular  candidate,  perhaps  for 
the  registrar  himself,  could  have  his  name  enrolled  as  a  voter 
without  taking  the  oath  prescribed  by  law  for  all  voters,  or  to 
procure  the  registration  of  a  voter  by  deceiving  the  registrar 
that  the  party  registered  would  vote  for  him,  when  it  was 
understood  he  was  to  vote  for  another. 

In  this  connection  it  may  be  mentioned  that  the  court  records 
of  the  county  had  been  kept  at  Concord  Church  until  the  fall 
of  1869,  when  at  a  meeting  of  the  Board  of  Supervisors,  Mr. 
Benjamine  White,  who  was  then  sheriff  and  lived  at  Princeton, 
made  a  motion  before  the  Board  to  remove  the  records  to 
Princeton  for  safe  keeping,  alleging  that  a  threat  had  been 
made  to  destroy  them,  and  in  support  of  his  charges  produced 
the  affidavits  of  one  or  more  persons  tending  to  show  the  truth 
of  his  charges.  Mr.  White's  strong  and  boisterous  speech  and 
serious  charges  alarmed  two  of  the  members  of  the  Board  of 
Supervisors,  and  they  actually  gathered  their  hats  and  left  the 
place,  leaving  three  members  only  of  the  Board  present,  who 
voted  for  the  motion  and  the  records  were  immediately  removed 
by  wagons  procured  by  Mr.  White.  The  feverish  excitement 
aroused  over  this  removal  of  the  records  engendered  bad  blood, 
and  nearly  approached  open  collision.  The  fact,  though  not 
apparent  to  the  public,  was  that  the  people  in  the  interest  of 
Princeton  had  made  a  bargain  with  Mr.  George  Evans,  who, 
for  a  certain  consideration,  would  aid  in  removing  the  records 
and  abandon  his  fight  for  Concord  Church  as  the  County  site, 
and  espouse  the  cause  of  the  people  in  the  interest  of  Princeton ; 
how  well  this  bargain  was  carried  out  and  the  manner  of  its 
carrying  out,  will  be  fully  hereinafter  stated. 

As  hereinbefore  stated,  the  County  Board  of  Registration 
exercised  the  right  of  revision  of  the  list  of  voters,  and  the  right 
to  strike  off  the  name  of  any  person  they  chose,  and  thus  de- 
prive him  of  the  right  to  vote  at  the  succeeding  election;  and 
woe  to  the  man  that  was  suspected  of  disloyalty,  not  to  his 
country,  but  to  the  Republican  party,  for  when  the  County 
Board  met  and  it  suspected,  or  some  one  reported,  that  a  given 

332  New  River  Settlements 

man  was  not  loyal  in  the  sense  above  stated,  a  summons  was 
issued  requiring  the  suspect  to  appear  and  prove  his  loyalty; 
no  charges  jireferred,  none  proved,  but  the  party  summoned 
must  come  prepared  to  prove  his  innocence — that  is,  that  he 
was  truly  loyal  to  the  Republican  i>arty  and  had  always  voted 
and  still  intended  to  vote  v/ith  that  party — but  if  he  did  not 
show  up  right  on  this  he  was  adjudged  not  a  legal  or  qualified 
voter.  Very  few  instances  of  this  kind  occurred  in  Mercer 
(Jounty,  but  one  such  at  least  occurred  in  an  adjoining  county, 
in  which  a  gentleman  of  the  legal  profession,  being  under  sus- 
picion of  disloyalty,  was  summoned  before  the  County  Board 
of  Registration  to  show  and  prove  that  he  was  true  to  the  grand 
old  party ;  appearing  before  the  Board,  inquiring  what  it  want- 
ed, and  being  told  he  must  prove  his  loyalty,  he  thereupon  be- 
came very  indignant,  using  some  very  rash,  opprobrious  epi- 
thets toward  the  Board  and  some  of  its  members  for  their  base- 
ness, meanness  and  ignorance.  When  he  had  finished  his  speech, 
one  of  the  members  of  the  Board  raised  his  spectacles  upon  his 
brow  and  lifting  his  eyes  said  :  "Well,  sir,  I  am  like  the  apostle 
of  old,  I  thank  God  I  am  what  I  am,"  to  which  the  legal  gentle- 
man retorted:  "Yes,  and  you  are  thankful  for  d — d  small 

This  registration  scheme  was  wholly  political  and  one  against 
liberty ;  a  plot  to  disfranchise  honest,  law-abiding  people  and 
to  perpetuate  the  dominant  party  in  power  in  the  state,  and 
well  it  succeeded  for  five  years,  but  they  pressed  their  advan- 
tage too  far  and  the  conservative  element  in  their  party  finally 
revolted,  and  the  plan  that  had  been  devised  to  ostracise  their 
neighbors  became  a  useful  weapon  in  the  hands  of  liberty- 
loving  freemen  for  the  political  overthrow  and  destruction  of 
the  inventors,  and  resulted  in  hurling  from  power  the  party 
which  had,  as  it  sup])osed,  firmly  intrenched  itself  behind  its 
registration  disfranchising  scheme,  which  it  had  theretofore 
regarded  as  impregnable.  This  registration  law,  together  with 
the  manner  of  its  execution,  became  so  ofi'ensive  to  the  good 
people  of  the  state  and  smelled  so  badly,  that  it  was  said  that 

1866-1905  333 

'^Tlie  man  in  the  moon  was  compelled  to  hold  his  nose  when  he 
passed  over';  and  by  the  close  of  the  fourth  and  fifth  years  of 
its  life,  no  one  scarcely  dared  to  do  it  reverence,  or  to  publicly 
attempt  to  justify  it.  It  was  doomed  and  must  go,  and  it  was 
only  a  question  of  a  short  time  when  it  would  go ;  the  law  itself 
was  bad  enough,  but  its  abuses  were  ten  fold  worse. 

Quite  a  digression  has  been  made  from  the  consideration  of 
the  special  law  passed  to  settle  the  County  site  question,  to  let 
in  the  explanation  of  the  operation  and  effect  of  this  registra- 
tion law;  for  this  very  law  played  an  important  j^art,  not  only 
in  the  settlement  of  tlie  local  question,  but  influenced  greatly 
the  political  results  in  the  county  and  state  at  the  general  elec- 
tion held  in  October,  1870. 

The  Committee  of  Safety  on  the  part  of  the  Princeton  people 
could  no  longer  have  Mr.  White  in  its  counsels,  and  was  com- 
pelled to  go  its  way  alone  without  the  aid  of  this  gentleman 
and  his  friendly  advice.  It  was  finally  determined  not  to  have 
a  special  election  under  the  special  statute  until  the  new  regis- 
tration could  take  place  in  the  September  following,  but  the 
plan  was  to  get  control  of  the  Registration  Board,  not  only  to 
have  such  board  friendlv,  but  also  favorable  to  a  fair  non- 
partisan  registration,  and  this  was  a  question  of  grave  consider- 
ation, for  the  appointing  power  of  this  board  was  the  Governor 
and  he  was  an  extreme,  staunch  Republican,  who  could  be  de- 
pended upon  to  appoint  men  that  he  at  least  believed  would 
do  what  his  party  wanted  done.  This  Committee  could  have 
no  influence  with  the  Governor,  and  therefore  began  to  cast 
about  as  to  how  they  might  get  control  of  this  registration 
board,  without  raising  a  suspicion  that  it  was  engaged  in  some 
political  intrigue  against  the  Republican  party.  Mr.  George 
Evans  was  a  Republican  of  the  Republicans,  and  no  man  could 
question  his  fealty  to  his  party  or  his  zeal  for  its  success;  he 
was  a  warm  personal  friend  and  admirer  of  the  then  Governor 
Stevenson,  who  was  a  candidate  that  spring  for  re-nomination 
and  for  re-election  that  fall,  and  as  the  Republican  convention 

33i  New  River  Settlements 

was  to  be  held  in  the  city  of  Parkersburg,  it  was  not  thought 
likeh'  that  any  delegate  except  Mr.  Evans  would  go  to  the  con- 
vention and  that  he  would  not  probably  go  without  it  was  urged 
upon  him  and  liis  expenses  paid. 

The  Circuit  Court  for  tlie  county  was  to  be  held  at  Concord 
Church  in  May,  which  was  a  short  time  prior  to  the  meeting 
of  the  Republican  convention  at  Parkersburg.  The  Safety 
Committee,  supposing  that  the  Republicans  of  the  county 
would  hold  their  convention  at  the  Circuit  Court  in  May  and 
appoint  their  delegates  to  their  state  convention,  a  plan  was 
hit  upon  to  make  known  to  I\Ir.  Evans  that  it  would  be  a  good 
thing  for  the  interest  of  Princeton,  he  having  in  the  meantime 
changed  his  base  from  the  supj)ort  of  Concord  Church  to  that 
of  Princeton,  for  him  to  keep  in  favor  with  the  Governor,  and 
to  do  this  it  would  be  well  for  him  to  go  as  the  only  delegate 
from  the  county  of  Mercer,  and  that  if  he  would  undertake  to 
manage  to  hold  his  county  convention  during  the  court  and 
have  himself  appointed  a  delegate,  and  to  be  sure  to  appoint 
men  other  than  himself,  none  of  whom  would  go,  that  the  com- 
mittee would  undertake  to  furnish  the  money  to  pay  his  ex- 
penses. The  bargain  was  struck,  the  court  came  on,  the  Repub- 
licans held  their  meeting  and  Mr.  Evans,  among  others,  was 
api)ointed  a  delegate  to  the  convention.  The  committee  started 
out  to  raise  the  money,  and  among  the  men  they  came  across 
and  asked  to  contribute  five  dollars  was  Honorable  Frank  Here- 
ford, Democratic  nominee  for  (Congress;  who  inquired  what 
was  wanted  with  the  money,  and  the  answer  came,  "Never 
mind  about  that;  you  will  be  informed  this  fall,  after  the  elec- 
tion." Mr.  Evans  went  to  the  convention ;  Governor  Stevenson 
was  re-nominated,  but  his  election  was  another  question. 

For  a  number  of  years  the  people  living  in  the  lower  district 
of  ]\rercer  County,  on  and  along  the  New  River,  and  tlie  people 
of  CJreenbrier  and  Monroe  Counties  occupying  the  territory  ad- 
jacent to  the  New  River,  near  the  mouth  of  Greenbrier,  favored 
the  formation  of  a  new  county,  and  the  Committee  of  Safety 
conceived  the  idea  that  this  was  the  favored  time  to  encourage 

1866-1905  335 

the  people  to  ask  the  Legislature  to  create  the  new  county  and 
to  vote  for  a  candidate  who  would  be  in  favor  of  the  project 
and  would  push  it  through  the  Legislature;  and  while  this 
committee  advised  the  people  to  secure  the  right  man,  it  wanted 
to  see  and  know  that  the  man  was  right,  not  only  on  the  new 
county  question,  and  therefore  on  the  County  site  question,  but 
that  he  would  pledge  himself  to  use  his  best  endeavors  to  secure 
the  repeal  of  all  proscriptive  and  obnoxious  laws.  Arrange- 
ments for  a  secret  meeting  were  made  between  the  representa- 
tives of  Princeton  and  those  in  favor  of  the  new  county,  and 
it  was  agreed  that  Sylvester  Upton,  a  staunch  Union  man,  a 
conservative  Republican,  but  in  every  sense  an  honorable  and 
upright  gentleman,  should  be  supported  by  the  combination  for 
the  House  of  Delegates,  and  he  was  accordingly  named  as  the 
candidate.  Against  Mr.  Upton,  the  Concord  Church  people 
nominated  or  placed  in  the  field  Mr.  Keaton.  In  this  same  com- 
bine Mr.  George  Evans  was  to  be  supported  for  Clerk  and 
Recorder,  David  Lilley  for  Sheriff,  L.  M.  Stinson  for  County 
Surveyor,  and  J.  Speed  Thompson  for  Prosecuting  Attorney. 

The  support  for  Mr.  George  Evans  for  Clerk  and  Recorder 
was  the  consummation  of  the  arrangement  entered  into  at  the 
time  he  abandoned  the  interest  of  Concord  Church  and  agreed 
to  stand  for  Princeton ;  and  this  was  to  be  in  full  settlement 
and  discharge  of  any  obligation  to  him  by  reason  of  the  previ- 
ous arrangement  for  his  abandonment  of  the  interest  of  those 
favoring  Concord  Church.  Before  all  the  plans  could  be  fully 
carried  out  some  arrangement  had  to  be  made  to  control  the 
Board  of  Registration;  and  in  some  way,  if  possible,  non- 
partisan men,  or  at  least  the  majority  of  such  must  be  secured 
on  this  board,  or  there  would  not  be  the  ghost  of  a  chance  for 
success.  The  board  at  this  time  consisted  of  L.  M.  Thomas, 
Silas  T.  Reynolds  and  Mr.  Cox.  Mr.  Reynolds  was  a  high- 
toned  gentleman  and  liberal  in  his  views,  and  while  he  would 
faithfully  execute  the  law,  he  would  not  pervert  it;  the  two 
others  were  narrow-minded  partisans,  and  whose  chief  aim  was 
party  success. 

336  New  River  Settlements 

The  war  had  now  been  over  for  five  years  and  many  young 
men  had  attained  their  majority,  and  they  were  almost  uni- 
versally against  the  party  in  power.  It  was  hoped  that  by  the 
aid  of  these  voters  and  that  of  tlie  liberal,  conservative  element 
of  the  Republican  party,  and  with  a  non-partisan  board  of 
registration,  to  be  able  to  overthrow  and  defeat  the  radical 
wing  of  that  party;  not  only  carry  the  county  ticket,  composed 
in  part  of  liberal  Republicans,  but  to  also  carry  the  Court 
House  question  for  Princeton,  and  the  measure  in  favor  of  the 
new  county.  But  this  dreaded  Registration  Board,  like 
"Banquo's  Ghost,"  would  not  down;  it  was  concluded,  however, 
that  dovrn  it  must  go,  at  all  hazards.  The  committee  knowing 
that  its  friends,  Mr.  Evans  and  L.  M.  Thomas,  President  of  the 
Board,  were  close  friends  politically  and  otherwise,  it  was 
therefore  thought  possible  for  the  sake  of  the  local  question 
that  Mr.  Evans  could  control  Thomas,  but  he  tried  and  failed, 
and  the  committee  was  again  perplexed.  While  brooding  over 
this  apparent  ill-luck,  with  nothing  but  what  seemed  a  dark 
and  dismal  future,  a  little  incident  happened  which  opened  the 
way  of  escape  from  the  apparent  difficulties. 

Mr.  Thomas  came  to  Princeton,  and  as  he  was  quite  fond  of 
his  drink  and  Mr.  Joe  Alvis  had  a  little  good  liquor  to  give  a 
man  for  his  first  drink,  after  which  he  always  said  he  would 
then  give  him  the  bad  and  he  could  not  tell  the  difference — 
furnished  Thomas  what  he  required  along  that  line,  after  which 
he  became  exceedingly  liberal,  and  took  a  tilt  at  what  he  de- 
nominated the  "Cussed  Registration  Law,"  saying  there  was  no 
reason  to  have  such  laws,  and  that  the  time  had  come  for  every 
body  to  register  and  vote.  It  is  very  doubtful  whether  Thomas 
meant  what  he  said,  for  it  was  believed  that  he  meant  just  the 
reverse,  and  that  his  talk  was  only  a  ruse  to  deceive  the  people 
as  to  his  real  intentions,  and  to  cover  up  some  dark  thing  that 
he  had  in  view  to  aid  the  Republican  party.  Thomas  had  by 
this  declaration  in  favor  of  liberalism  furnished  all  the  cause 
necessarv  for  his  removal  as  a  member  of  the  Board,  for  it  was 
only  necessary  for  a  whisper  of  this  declaration  to  reach  the 

1866-1905  337 

ears  of  the  Governor's  best  friend  to  accomplish  his  removal. 
No  sooner  had  he  uttered  the  declaration,  than  the  Committee 
of  Safety  had  a  man  getting  up  aflQdavits  embracing  Thomas' 
statements ;  these  were  furnished  to  Mr.  Evans,  to  whom  it  was 
made  known  that  if  Thomas  carried  out  his  declaration  it 
would  destroy  the  Republican  party  in  Mercer  County ;  and 
as  no  one  wished  to  see  Mr.  Thomas  disgraced  by  being  removed 
from  office,  it  was  deemed  wise  that  Mr.  Evans  should  pay  a 
visit  to  Mr.  Thomas,  and  show  him  the  aflSdavits  and  ask  him  to 
place  his  resignation  in  his  hands  to  be  sent  to  the  Governor. 
Mr.  Evans  made  the  visit  and  returned  with  the  resignation  of 
Mr.  Thomas. 

This  was  in  the  last  days  of  July,  or  in  the  first  days  of 
August  and  time  was  becoming  most  precious,  as  the  commit- 
tee had  determined  to  ask  the  Board  of  Supervisors  to  order 
a  special  election  under  the  special  Act,  upon  the  question  of 
the  location  of  the  County  site  and  had  planned  to  have  this 
election  take  place  within  a  period  of  less  than  ten  days  next 
preceding  the  day  on  which  the  state  election  would  be  held; 
the  object  of  this  being  to  prevent  the  Board  of  Registration 
from  striking  off  the  names  of  voters,  who  had  been  registered 
to  vote  on  the  local  question,  and  thus  allow  them  to  vote  at 
the  state  election;  the  law  forbidding  the  striking  off  of  the 
names  from  the  registration  books  within  ten  days  of  any 
general  election.  The  Committee  being  satisfied  that  there  was 
a  better  showing  for  a  fairer  and  fuller  registration  than  could 
be  had  on  state  election,  and  it  requiring  thirty  days'  notice 
under  the  special  Act  before  the  people  could  vote  on  the  local 
question,  it  was  determined  that  this  thirty  days  should  expire 
within  less  than  ten  days  of  the  state  election,  and  thereby  the 
people  would  have  the  benefit  of  the  full  registration  in  the 
state  election. 

As  soon  as  Thomas'  resignation  was  made  known  to  the  com- 
mittee, the  question  as  to  who  should  be  his  successor  arose. 
Various  names  were  suggested,  and  finally  that  of  Mr.  Andrew 
J.  Davis,  and  he  was  found  agreeable  to  Mr.  Evans,  because  he 

338  New  Eiver  Settlements 

had  always  been  classed  as  a  Republican,  had  held  office  as 
snch,  and  no  one  belonging  to  that  party  doubted  his  being  a 
Republican,  although  in  fact  he  was  a  staunch  Democrat.  To 
carry  out  this  plan  and  have  Mr.  Davis  appointed  was  also  a 
matter  of  delicacy  and  required  secrecy;  for  the  mails  could 
not  be  trusted,  none  of  the  committee  dare  afford  to  go  before 
the  Governor  on  such  a  matter,  it  was  therefore  finally  con- 
cluded that  Mr.  Evans  was  the  only  man  that  could  or  should 
be  trusted  with  such  an  important  mission.  A  sufficient  fund 
was  quietly  raised,  and  Mr.  Evans  set  off  for  the  capitol,  and 
succeeded  in  having  Mr.  Davis  appointed  as  President  of  the 
Board  of  Registration.  The  secret  of  the  appointment  of  Mr. 
Davis  was  so  well  kept  by  the  committee,  Mr.  Evans,  and  the 
people  at  the  Governor's  office,  that  every  one  was  surprised 
when  Mr.  Davis  at  the  next  meeting  of  the  Board  took  his  seat 
as  a  member  thereof.  Mr.  Davis  and  Mr.  Reynolds,  a  majority 
of  this  board,  were  known  as  friends  of  the  Princeton  interest 
in  the  local  fight.  The  board  appointed  its  District  Registrars 
composed  of  liberal  men ;  and  the  Board  of  Supervisors  met  and 
ordered  the  election  on  the  Court  House  question,  and  the 
fight  opened  with  spirit  and  energy  all  along  the  line. 

So  far,  the  plans  of  the  committee  had  worked  well  and  were 
successful,  but  in  their  zeal  to  succeed  they  came  near  commit- 
ting a  serious  bunder,  which  if  they  had,  would  have  defeated 
the  settlement  of  the  vexed  question.  The  District  Registrars 
seemed  to  forget  that  they  had  any  other  duty  than  to  get  out, 
hunt  up,  and  register  all  the  male  citizens  of  the  county  over 
the  age  of  twenty-one  years.  This  proceeding  at  once  became 
known,  and  so  loud  was  it  noised  abroad  that  it  was  heard  in 
the  gubernatorial  office  at  Charleston,  and  gave  alarm  and 
great  concern  to  the  Governor  and  his  friends.  About  the  time 
the  District  Registrars  had  completed  their  list  of  voters,  the 
September  term  of  the  Circuit  Court  of  Mercer  County  be- 
gan its  session  at  Concord  Church ;  the  Honorable  Joseph  M. 
McWhorter,  of  the  Greenbrier  Circuit,  presiding.  There  was  a 
great  throng  of  people  at  the  court  to  hear  Honorable  Frank 

1866-1905  339 

Hereford,  Democratic  nominee  for  Congress,  make  a  speech. 
There  happened  to  be  also  present  on  the  occasion  Major  Cyrus 
Newlin,  a  Republican  lawyer  from  Union,  who  also  addressed 
the  people  on  the  political  issues  of  the  day.  Newlin  was  a 
carpet-bagger  of  the  lower  sort  and  extremely  partisan,  and 
his  abuse  of  the  Democratic  party,  p.articularly  of  the  Southern 
people,  aroused  such  intense  feeling  and  indignation  towards 
him  that  it  became  necessary  for  his  friends  to  take  care  of 
him,  in  order  to  prevent  personal  violence.  The  fact  is,  a  crowd 
gathered  that  night  with  a  rope,  prepared  to  hang  him,  and 
but  for  the  wise  counsel  of  Colonel  William  H.  French  and 
others,  who  interposed,  it  would  have  been  accomplished.  On 
the  Court  day  on  which  this  public  speaking  took  place,  it  was 
discovered  by  the  people  in  the  interest  of  Concord  Church,  as 
well  as  the  Republicans,  that  the  registration  had  been  indis- 
criminate, and  that  in  returning  the  books  to  the  County  Board, 
the  one  containing  the  names  of  persons  registered  in  Plymouth 
District,  the  district  in  which  Concord  Church  is  situate,  had 
been  misplaced,  and  it  was  suspected  by  the  Concord  people 
that  there  was  some  trickery  about  it ;  and  they  became  aroused 
to  such  a  pitch  of  feeling  and  excitement  as  to  forget  every- 
thing else  except  the  local  question,  which  not  only  absorbed 
their  whole  attention  and  interest,  but  some  of  them  were 
willing  to  sacrifice  their  political  interests  and  put  in  jeopardy 
the  chances  of  shaking  off  their  civil  and  political  shackles; 
and  therefore,  in  order  to  wreak  vengeance  on  those  opposing 
them  on  the  local  question,  they  imparted  to  Major  Newlin 
what  they  supposed  to  be  the  plan  for  registering  every  person, 
with  the  view  to  the  overthrow  of  the  Republican  party. 

No  sooner  had  Major  Newlin  caught  on  to  the  supposed 
scheme  than  he  wrote  a  letter  to  the  Governor,  containing  the 
startling  news,  that  eleven  hundred  rebels  had  been  registered 
in  Mercer  County,  all  of  whom  would  vote  the  Democratic 
ticket;  and  strange,  yet  true,  it  seems  that  this  letter  received 
the  approval  and  endorsement  of  Judge  McWhorter.  When 
this  letter  reached  Charleston  it,  of  course,  very  naturally, 

340  New  River  Settlements 

aroused  the  fears  of  the  Governor  and  his  Republican  friends 
for  the  safety  of  the  party ;  and  in  order  to  ascertain  more  fully 
the  situation  tlie  Governor  dispatched  one  A.  F,  Gibbons,  armed 
with  blank  commissions  to  be  filled  if  he,  Gibbons,  thought 
proper  to  do  so,  with  the  names  of  a  new  Board  of  Registra- 
tion. This  letter  had  gone  and  was  in  the  hands  of  the  Gov- 
ernor before  the  committee  discovered  that  the  same  had  been 
written,  and  by  this  time  it  was  too  late  to  counteract  the  effect 
thereof  at  the  capitol ;  in  fact,  Mr.  Gibbons  had  arrived  in  the 
county  before  anyone  was  aware  that  he  had  been  sent,  or  what 
steps  the  Governor  proposed  to  take.  The  committee  was  con- 
fronted by  a  new,  formidable  and  serious  danger;  hitherto  it 
had  been  equal  to  every  emergency  as  it  had  arisen,  but  the 
question  now  was,  would  it  be  equal  to  this?  Up  to  this  time 
every  movement  of  the  committee's  adversaries  had  been  met 
and  thwarted ;  being  always  on  the  alert,  and  through  informa- 
tion derived  from  its  spies  it  was  kept  well  advised,  and  before 
the  blow  was  struck  a  counter  one  was  given,  and  the  arm  of 
the  adversary  fell  palsied  at  his  side. 

The  reader  must  not  suppose  that  these  things  were  idle 
dreams — they  were  stern  realities — actual  occurrences;  and  no 
question  more  certainly  and  effectually  divided  our  people  than 
did  this  local  question.  The  war  between  the  states  had  not 
more  thoroughly  estranged  the  people  of  the  North  and  South, 
than  this  question  had  the  people  of  the  two  sections  of  our 
county.  Military  lines  were  never  better  connected  and  more 
securely  guarded  and  watched  with  greater  vigilance,  than 
were  the  lines  between  these  contending  factions;  and  both 
money  and  brains  were  at  work  on  both  sides,  and  the  struggle 
tliroughout  resembled  that  of  two  great  armies  on  the  battle- 
field maneuvering  for  positions  and  preparing  to  join  in  deadly 

Mr.  Gibbons  had  scarcely  more  than  reached  Concord  Church, 
than  the  information  thereof  was  brought  to  the  Committee 
of  Safety.  A  meeting  was  called  and  the  situation  discussed 
and  the  conclusion  reached  to  watch   Gibbon's  actions  and 

1866-1905  341 

await  developments,  which  would  doubtless  show  up  in  a  few 
hours;  and  the  committee  was  not  mistaken  in  its  conclusion, 
for  Mr.  Gibbons  by  some  word  or  action  had  given  otfense  to 
the  Concord  people,  and  he  left  there  in  high  dudgeon  and  came 
to  Princeton.  Now  was  the  time  for  action,  and  the  committee 
determined  that  Mr.  Gibbons  must  be  met  with  open  arms  and 
be  fully  assured  that  Governor  Stevenson's  interests  should  not 
suffer  in  the  hands  of  the  people  who  were  espousing  the  cause 
of  Princeton  on  the  local  question.  To  this  end  large  numbersf 
of  the  people  visited  Mr.  Gibbons,  and  assured  him  of  their 
strong  friendship  for  Governor  Stevenson,  and  of  their  inten- 
tion to  vote  for  the  Governor  if  the  registration  books  were  not 
blotched  by  erasure,  and  that  the  Governor  had  all  to  gain  and 
nothing  to  lose  by  allowing  the  names  then  on  the  books  to 
remain  untouched.  Mr.  Gibbons  heard  these  assurances  with 
seeming  delight  and  satisfaction,  and  his  faith  in  the  truth  of 
these  statements  was  strengthened  from  day  to  day  by  the 
action  of  and  conversations  had  with  our  people ;  at  length  the 
adversaries  of  Princeton,  seeing  that  its  people  had  probably 
won  Gibbons  over  to  its  side,  and  that  he  was  a  little  too  cred- 
ulous, whispered  in  his  ear  that  he  was  being  deceived,  that  the 
names  of  too  many  prominent  ex-Confederates  were  on  the 
registration  list  for  tlie  strong  professions  of  these  people  to  be 
true ;  so  Mr.  Gibbons  became  a  little  wary  and  somewhat  alarm- 
ed, stating  that  he  thought  the  names  of  the  more  prominent 
ex-Confederates  should  be  erased  from  the  lists.  The  commit- 
tee was  reluctantly  forced  to  yield  and  compromise  by  the  elim- 
ination of  about  two  hundred  names  from  the  list  of  voters; 
yet  enough  remained  to  accomplish  their  purposes,  for  they 
knew  that  while  the  people  had  pledged  themselves  to  stand 
by  and  vote  for  Governor  Stevenson  the}'  had  made  no  further 
pledges  and  Mr.  Gibbons  had  not  asked  or  demanded  more. 

The  opponents  of  Princeton  were  not  without  resources,  and 
while  these  events  were  transpiring  at  Princeton  they  were  not 
idle;  for  they  formulated  a  plan  which  they  supposed  would 
prevent  the  people  from  holding  the  special  election  on  the 

342  New  River  Settlements 

local  question;  and  that  plan  was  to  get  an  injunction,  pro- 
hibiting and  enjoining  the  election  officers  from  opening  the 
polls,  holding  the  election  and  declaring  the  result;  and  with 
this  view,  a  bill  was  prepared  by  Attorney  Newlin  and  en- 
trusted to  Attorney  J.  M.  Killey  to  be  taken  to  Charleston  by 
him  and  to  be  presented  to  a  Circuit  Judge  for  an  injunction, 
and  if  refused,  then  to  be  presented  to  Judge  James  H.  Brown 
of  the  Court  of  Appeals.  Mr.  Killey  had  scarcely  gotten  away 
from  Concord  Church  before  the  news  of  his  leaving  and  that 
of  his  mission  reached  the  Committee ;  whereupon  it  determined 
that  this  last  effort  of  the  removalists  must  be  headed  off  and 
defeated.  It  was  now  only  ten  days  until  the  election  was  to 
be  held  on  the  local  question.  Mr.  Kille^'  started  on  Wednes- 
day, and  a  messenger  was  selected  and  directed  to  follow  Kil- 
ley, and  he  started  on  Thursday  morning ;  however,  before  start- 
ing, Mr.  Gibbons  requested  a  little  time  to  write  some  letters 
to  be  sent  to  the  Governor  and  other  friends  in  Charleston  by 
the  Princeton  messenger,  who  took  the  letters  and  put  off  to 
Charleston,  reaching  there  in  less  than  two  days,  being  only 
twenty-three  and  one-half  hours  in  the  saddle,  and  reaching 
there  two  hours  ahead  of  Killey,  although  the  latter  had  twenty- 
four  hours  the  start  and  had  traveled  twelve  miles  of  the  dis- 
tance by  steamer.  Hurrying  to  the  Governor's  office,  the 
Princeton  messenger  found  no  one  there  but  Mr.  Blackburn 
B.  Dovener,  now  the  Honorable  Blackburn  B.  Dovener, 
member  of  Congress  from  the  \yheeling  district,  private  secre- 
tary to  the  Governor,  to  whom  the  letters  of  which  he  was  the 
bearer  were  delivered,  the  Governor  being  absent  in  the  north- 
ern part  of  the  state,  leaving  Mr.  Dovener  in  charge  of  his 

The  messenger  made  known  to  Mr.  Dovener  that  it  was 
necessary  that  he  should  see  Judge  Brown,  and  requested  him 
to  accompany  and  introduce  him  to  the  Judge,  which  he  did. 
After  stating  to  the  Judge  his  mission  and  the  character  of  the 
bill  which  would  likely  be  presented  to  him  for  action,  the 
Judge  promised  the  messenger  that  if  such  bill  was  presented 

1866-1905  343 

that  he  should  have  opportunity  to  be  heard.  Mr,  Killey  pre- 
sented his  bill  to  Circuit  Judge  Hoge,  at  Winfleld,  who  refused 
the  injunction,  and  on  Mr.  Killey's  return  to  Charleston,  and 
on  presentation  of  his  bill  to  Judge  Brown  the  injunction  was 
also  refused  by  him.  The  Princeton  messenger  at  once  started 
for  home,  reaching  there  on  the  Thursday  evening  preceding 
the  Saturday  on  which  the  election  was  to  be  held ;  and  which 
passed  off  quietly,  a  full  vote  was  polled,  and  the  County  Court 
House  question  was  settled  in  favor  of  Princeton  by  a  majority 
of  over  four  hundred.  The  state  election  followed  on  the  Tues- 
day week  thereafter,  and  resulted  in  the  election  of  the  whole 
Democratic  county  ticket  by  an  average  majority  of  about 
three  hundred,  and  a  majority  of  nearly  five  hundred  for  Mr. 
Hereford  for  Congress;  electing  Mr.  Upton  to  the  House  of 
Delegates;  and  George  Evans  Clerk  and  Recorder  over  Mr. 
Green  Meador — this  was  in  fulfillment  of  the  agreement  of  the 
Princeton  interest  with  Mr.  Evans.  The  county  authorities  im- 
mediately went  to  work  and  had  erected  on  the  old  Court  House 
foundation  at  Princeton  a  new  building  which  was  completed  in 
1875.  This  building  was  destroyed  by  fire,  but  another  building 
was  erected  immediately  thereafter. 

Mr.  Upton,  the  Representative  from  Mercer  County,  on  the 
assembling  of  the  Legislature  in  January,  1871,  immediately 
introduced  his  bill  for  the  creation  of  a  new  county  out  of  the 
territory  hereinafter  described ;  and  on  the  27th  day  of  Febru- 
ary, 1871,  the  bill  was  passed  creating  the  county  of  Summers 
out  of  parts  of  the  counties  of  Mercer,  Monroe,  Greenbrier  and 
Fayette,  within  the  following  described  boundary,  to- wit : 

''Beginning  at  the  mouth  of  Round  Bottom  Branch,  on  New 
River,  in  Monroe  County,  thence  crossing  said  river  and  run- 
ning N.  471/2  W.  5430  poles  through  the  county  of  Mercer  to  a 
point  known  as  Brammer's  Gate,  on  the  line  dividing  the  coun- 
ties of  Mercer  and  Raleigh ;  thence  with  said  county  line  in  an 
easterly  direction  to  New  River ;  thence  with  a  line  between  the 
counties  of  Raleigh  and  Greenbrier,  down  New  River  to  the 
line  of  Fayette  County;  thence  with  a  line  dividing  Raleigh 

344  New  River  Settlements 

and  Fayette  Counties,  down  said  river  to  a  station  opposite 
Goddard's  House;  thence  leaving  the  line  of  Raleigh  County, 
crossing  New  River  and  passing  through  said  Goddard's  house, 
N.  071/0  E.  3280  poles  through  said  county  of  Fayette,  to  a 
station  on  Wallow  Hole  Mountain,  in  Greenbrier  County; 
thence  S.  55  E,  3140  poles  to  a  station  east  of  Keeney's  Knob 
in  Monroe  County ;  thence  S.  9  E.  1320  poles  to  a  station  near 
Greenbrier  River,  and  running  thence  S.  32  W.  7740  poles  to 
the  beginning." 

The  period  between  the  close  of  the  civil  war  and  the  settle- 
ment of  the  question  of  the  location  of  the  seat  of  justice  of 
Mercer  County,  and  the  complete  removal  of  all  civil  and  polit- 
ical disabilities,  under  which  our  people  had  been  laboring  for 
a  period  of  nearly  seven  years,  was  one  of  turmoil,  trouble  and 
unrest.  Business  in  Mercer  County  during  this  time  was  large- 
ly at  a  standstill,  no  one  knew  what  to  do,  many  suits  had  been 
brought  against  the  ex-Confederates  for  alleged  wrongs  and 
injuries  done  or  committed  during  the  civil  war,  and  they,  the 
ex-Conferedates,  had  little  show  in  the  courts,  which  had  been 
organized,  as  a  rule,  in  the  interest  of  the  dominant  party  and 
for  oppression.  The  men  who  sat  upon  the  juries  of  the  county 
were  the  political  enemies  of  the  ex-Confederates  and  of  the 
people  who  had  espoused  the  Southern  cause.  No  man  who  had 
served  in  the  Confederate  army  or  sympathized  with  the  Soutli, 
regarded  his  life,  liberty,  property  or  cause,  whatever  it  might 
be,  as  safe  in  the  hands  of  the  Courts  and  Juries  as  they  were 
tlien  organized  and  existed.  Hundreds  of  people  who  had 
owned  valuable  property  before  the  beginning  of  the  war  and 
lived  in  opulence,  were  by  its  results  reduced  almost  to  beg- 
gary, and  they  had  a  long,  hard  struggle  to  earn  even  a  liveli- 
hood. The  expenses  of  government — the  taxes — had  grown 
to  such  enormous  proportions  that  the  people  had  great  diflB- 
culty  in  paying  the  same.  The  levies  of  taxes  for  local  purposes 
were  often  outrageous,  on  account  of  the  character  and 
amounts  of  the  claims  and  demands  for  which  they  were  levied ; 

1866-1905  345 

and  after  the  levies  had  been  placed  in  the  hands  of  the  collect- 
ing officers  they  were  often  squandered  and  never  accounted 
for.  In  the  great  struggle  over  the  Court  House  question,  a 
large  amount  of  the  public  funds  were  squandered,  stolen  or 
wasted.  A  jail  had  been  erected  at  Concord  Church  and  the 
walls  for  a  Court  House  had  been  about  half  way  built,  and 
the  expenditures  in  this  regard  amounted  to  thousands  of  dol- 
lars, which  was  an  entire  loss  to  the  taxpayers  of  the  county. 
But,  notwithstanding  all  these  drawbacks,  the  people  labored, 
toiled  and  struggled  on  in  the  hope  of  a  better  day  coming,  and 
it  came  at  last  when  we  had  better  government  and  lower  taxes, 
and  the  end  largely  of  all  the  difficulties  growing  out  of  the 
civil  war  and  the  questions  therein  involved. 

The  Board  of  Supervisors  had  power  to  lay  and  disburse  the 
county  levies,  and  to  make  all  contracts  touching  county  affairs. 
After  the  removal  of  the  records  and  books  from  Concord 
Church  to  Princeton,  the  Board  of  Supervisors  consisted  of 
L.  D.  Martin,  William  C.  Honaker,  Silas  T.  Reynolds,  Thomas 
Reed,  and,  for  part  of  the  time,  Washington  Lilley. 

Mention  has  already  been  made  of  Mr.  George  Evans,  who 
was  of  Welsh  extraction  or  descent,  and  who  came  from  Wilkes- 
barre,  Pennsylvania.  He  was  a  man  of  fair  education,  good 
sense,  and,  although  often  roundly  abused,  was  yet  a  very  clever 
man,  but  in  the  days  in  which  he  ruled  was  a  power  among  the 
Republicans,  and  ruled  them  generally  with  a  rod  of  iron. 
He  held  as  many  as  four  or  five  offices  at  one  and  the  same 
time,  and  did  pretty  generally  as  he  pleased  touching  the  con- 
trol and  management  of  county  affairs,  civil  and  political. 

After  the  Board  of  Supervisors  had  adjourned  its  meetings 
from  Concord  Church  to  Princeton,  a  proposition  was  made  to 
it  by  Mr.  Evans  to  sell  to  the  county  a  small  farm  which  he 
owned  in  the  valley  of  East  River  Mountain  as  a  place  on  which 
to  keep  the  paupers  of  the  county.  Mr.  Evans  was,  in  his 
political  manipulation,  always  shrewd  enough  to  control  one 
man  on  each  of  the  Board  of  Supervisors  and  Registration; 

346  New  River  Settlements 

this  man  was  always  a  friend  of  Mr.  Evans' — his  middle  man 
or  fifth  wlieel — and  by  and  through  wliom  he  was  generally  able 
to  carry  out  any  measure  he  desired,  or  that  he  knew  was  to 
his  interest  or  that  of  his  party.  The  Board  of  Supervisors 
was  generally  divided  politically^  two  Democrats  and  three 
Re])nblicans,  but  ]Mr.  Evans  could  not  always  rely  upon  his 
political  friends  to  save  his  pet  measures,  but  when  necessary, 
he  was  sometimes  compelled  to  call  on  the  other  side,  and  with 
the  aid  of  his  man  carry  his  point.  Mr.  Evans'  proposition  to 
sell  his  farm  to  the  county  met  with  disfavor,  not  only  from 
the  two  members  who  were  in  the  Princeton  interest,  but  espe- 
cially from  the  two  men  who  were  friends  of  the  Concord  inter- 
est, the  two  latter  being  exceedingly  hostile  to  Mr.  Evans  on 
account  of  his  desertion  of  their  interests  in  the  Court  House 
controversy  and  his  espousal  of  the  interest  of  Princeton; 
therefore,  when  his  j)roposition  was  submitted  to  the  Board, 
not  only  the  two  men  from  the  Concord  section  voted  against 
it,  but  also  the  two  men  from  the  Princeton  section,  leaving 
only  Mr.  Thomas  Reed,  the  friend  of  Mr.  Evans,  to  vote  for  his 
proposition.  No  sooner  was  the  measure  defeated  than  Mr. 
Reed  made  a  motion  that  the  Board  adjourn  to  meet  at  Concord 
Church  on  the  next  day,  and  his  motion  was  promptly  carried 
by  his  own  and  the  votes  of  the  two  Concord  men,  who  were 
highly  elated  at  the  prospects  of  the  Board  again  holding  its 
sessions  at  Concord  Church,  which  would  probably  result  in 
taking  the  records  to  that  place,  and  that  the  Courts  would 
again  be  held  there.  Mr.  Reed,  with  the  two  men  that  had  voted 
with  him,  mounted  their  horses  and  took  tlie  road  toward 
Concord  (church,  stopping,  however,  over  night  with  Colonel 
William  IT.  French,  by  whom  they  were  very  highly  entertained 
and  cared  for,  and  who  was  greatly  delighted  with  their  ac- 
tion in  .adjourning  the  meeting  of  the  Board  to  the  place  above 
named.  The  Board  met  the  next  morning  at  Concord  Church 
with  the  two  members  from  the  Princeton  section  absent.  Mr. 
Evans'  proposition  was  again  submitted  and  unanimously  car- 
ried, but  before  the  Board  adjourned  the  two  members  from 

1866-1905  347 

the  Princeton  section  ai^rived,  and  thereupon  Mr.  Reed  moved 
that  the  Board  adjourn  to  meet  at  Princeton ;  the  two  members 
from  Concord  voting  in  the  negative,  but  Mr,  Reed  voting  with 
the  Princeton  men,  the  motion  was  carried.  This  incident  is  re- 
lated here  to  show  that  this  Court  House  controversy  entered 
into  every  public  and  private  transaction  of  whatever  char- 

The  Legislature  at  its  session  of  1870  repealed  the  "Suitors 
Test  Oath,"  and  amended  the  oath  of  teachers  and  attorneys, 
and  at  the  same  session  proposed  an  amendment  to  the  Consti- 
tution commonly  known  and  designated  as  the  "Flick  Amend- 
ment," which  provided  that:  "The  male  citizens  of  the  state 
shall  be  entitled  to  vote  at  all  elections  held  within  the  election 
district  in  which  they  respectively  reside;  but  no  person  who 
is  a  minor,  or  of  unsound  mind,  or  a  pauper,  or  who  has  been 
convicted  of  treason,  felony,  or  bribery  in  any  election,  or  who 
has  not  been  a  resident  of  the  state  for  one  year,  and  of  the 
county  in  which  he  offers  to  vote  for  thirty  days  next  preced- 
ing his  offer,  shall  be  permitted  to  vote  while  such  disability 
continued."  It  will  be  seen  that  this  amendment  was  intended, 
and  in  fact  did,  recitizenize  and  reenfranchise  those  who  had 
been  decitizenized  and  disfranchised  by  the  amendment  to  the 
Constitution  of  May  24,  1866.  The  session  of  1871  adopted 
the  amendment,  and  provided  by  law  for  its  submission  to  the 
people,  and  it  was  adopted  by  a  large  majority,  on  the  fourth 
Thursday  in  April,  1871.  This,  however,  did  not  satisfy  the 
people  of  West  Virginia,  for  they  had  determined  to  remodel 
the  Constitution,  or,  rather,  have  a  new  one;  and  on  the  23rd 
day  of  February,  1871,  an  Act  was  passed  to  take  the  sense  of 
the  people  upon  the  call  of  a  convention  and  for  organizing  the 
same,  and  providing  for  an  election  on  that  question  to  be  held 
throughout  the  state  on  the  fourth  Thursday  of  August,  1871, 
and  which  election  resulted  in  a  majority  of  votes  being  cast 
for  the  call.  The  same  Act  provided  that  in  the  event  of  a  ma- 
jority of  the  vote  being  cast  in  favor  of  the  convention,  that  the 
Governor  should  make  proclamation  accordingly,  and  on  the 

348  New  Kiver  Settlements 

fourth  Thursday  of  October,  1871,  that  delegates  to  the  said 
convention  should  be  elected.  There  were  to  be  elected  two 
delegates  from  each  senatorial  district  and  one  from  each 
county  and  delegate  district.  From  the  Mercer  County  sena- 
torial district.  Honorable  Evermont  Ward,  of  Cabell  County, 
and  Doctor  Isaiah  Bee,  of  Mercer  County,  were  chosen  over 
Honorable  Mitchell  Cook,  of  Wyoming  County,  and  Mr. 
Harvev  Scott,  of  Cabell  County;  and  from  the  county 
of  Mercer  Elder  James  Calfee,  a  minister  of  the  church 
of  the  Disciples,  was  chosen  over  Colonel  William  H.  French. 
The  members  elected  to  this  convention  assembled  at  Charles- 
ton on  the  third  Tuesday  of  January,  1872,  and  elected  Hon- 
orable Samuel  Price,  of  Greenbrier  County,  President.  The 
convention  sat  from  the  16th  day  of  January  to  the  9th  day  of 
the  following  April,  and  having  finished  its  work,  adopted  a 
schedule  submitting  the  Constitution  framed  by  it  to  the  peo- 
ple to  be  voted  on,  on  the  fourth  Thursday  of  August,  1872, 
and  the  same  was  ratified  by  the  people  by  a  majority  of  over 

At  the  August  election,  1872,  Captain  William  L.  Bridges,  a 
Democrat,  was  elected  to  the  House  of  Delegates  from  Mercer 
County,  over  Jno.  H.  Peck;  and  a  full  set  of  Democratic  county 
officers  were  also  elected,  but  Mr.  George  Evans,  a  candidate 
for  re-election  for  Clerk  of  the  Courts  received  but  thirty  votes ; 
and  this  was  his  last  appearance  in  the  arena  of  politics  in 
Mercer  County.  Honorable  Evermont  Ward  was  elected  Cir- 
cuit Judge,  over  0.  W.  Smith,  Ira  J.  McGinnis,  Henry  L.  Gilles- 
pie, and  I.  S.  Samuel ;  David  E.  Johnston  was  elected  prosecut- 
ing attorney,  over  R.  C.  McClaugherty,  J.  Speed  Thompson,  and 
Alonzo  Gooch;  R.  B.  Foley  was  elected  Clerk  of  the  Circuit 
Court,  over  E.  H.  Peck  and  J.  C.  Straley;  Beujamine  G.  Mc- 
Nutt  was  elected  Clerk  of  the  County  Court,  over  John  H. 

The  people  who  had  espoused  the  cause  of  Princeton  in  the 
Court  House  controversy  were  anxious  to  remove,  as  far  as 
possible,  the  chagrin  and  disappointment  of  the  people  who  had 

1866-1905  349 

striven  to  have  the  County  site  located  at  Concord  Church; 
they  induced  Captain  Bridges  to  introduce  and  have  passed  a 
Bill  establishing  a  branch  of  the  State  Normal  School  at  Con- 
cord Church  (now  Athens),  and  which  is  today  a  most  flourish- 
ing institution  of  learning,  and  of  which  Captain  James  H. 
French  was  the  principal  for  nearly  twenty  years. 

The  political  shackles  that  had  been  forged  by  the  extreme 
Eepublicans — radicals — and  placed  upon  the  ex-Confederates 
and  tightly  held  for  more  than  five  years,  had  been  snapped 
asunder  and  cast  away,  and  the  Confederate  people  with  the 
Union  Democrats  took  charge  of  the  ship  of  state  and  guided 
her  course  safely  for  more  than  a  quarter  of  a  century,  and 
only  lost  control  when  the  state  became  flooded  with  criminal 
negroes.  For  a  full  twenty-five  years  or  more  the  conservative 
Democratic  people  governed  the  state,  during  which  time  there 
was  made  more  rapid  material  development  than  in  any  other 
period  of  her  existence,  before  or  since.  (1)  The  whole  policy 
of  the  state,  and  her  wise  laws  and  administration  thereof, 
during  the  years  referred  to,  were  dictated  and  controlled 
largely  by  the  old  Confederate  soldiers.  It  was  through  this 
influence  that  the  Constitution  of  1872  was  framed  and  adopt- 
ed, and  into  which  was  incorporated  the  provision  that  no  per- 
son on  either  side  of  the  war  should  be  held  ,civilly  or  crimin- 
ally, liable  for  acts  done  according  to  the  usages  of  civilized 

In  the  year  of  1750,  Doctor  Thomas  Walker  and  his  party, 
on  his  return  from  his  second  visit  to  the  Cumberland  Gap  and 
Kentucky  section  of  country,  passed  by  the  site  of  what  is  now 
the  city  of  Pocahontas,  Virginia,  discovering  the  outcrop  of 
the  great  coal  beds  of  the  Flat  Top  region ;  consisting  of  some 
thirteen  measures  of  coal,  one  of  which  is  known  as  the  Poca- 

(1).  George  W.  Anderson  began,  about  1876,  the  publication  of  the 
Princeton  Journal,  the  first  newspaper  published  in  Mercer  County. 

350  New  River  Settlements 

honlas  or  Xo.  3,  and  which  is  over  ten  feet  thick.  The  next 
we  hear  about  this  coal  field  is  in  the  report  of  Prof.  Rogers, 
State  Geologist  of  Virginia,  who  visited  this  section  between 
the  years  of  183G  and  1840,  and  made  an  extensive  examina- 
tion and  a  report  of  this  coal  formation;  however,  this  report 
seems  to  have  excited  no  particular  attention.  General  Gabriel 
C  Wharton  of  Montgomery  County,  Virginia,  who  commanded 
during  the  late  civil  war  a  body  of  Confederate  troops  and 
marched  at  their  head  across  the  Flat  Top  Mountain,  observed 
this  coal  formation,  and  was  impressed  with  its  commercial 
value.  He  having  been  elected,  in  1871,  to  the  Legislature  of 
Virginia  from  the  County  of  Montgomery,  obtained  on  the  7th 
of  March,  1872,  a  charter  for  the  incorporation  of  "The  New 
River  Railroad,  Mining  and  Manufacturing  Company,"  with 
John  B.  Radford,  John  T.  Cowan,  James  Cloyd,  James  A. 
Walker,  William  T.  Yancey,  William  Mahone,  Charles  W. 
Stratham,  Joseph  H.  Chumley,  A.  H.  Flanagan,  Philip  W. 
Strother,  John  C.  Snidow,  Joseph  H.  Hoge,  William  Eggleston, 
G.  C.  Wharton,  William  Adair,  James  A.  Harvey,  A.  A.  Chap- 
man, Robert  W.  Hughes,  A.  ISf.  Johnston,  Elbert  Fowler,  David 
E.  Johnston,  John  A.  Douglass,  William  H.  French,  R.  B.  Mc- 
Nutt,  James  M.  Bailey  and  A.  Gooch,  as  incorporators.  This 
charter  was  a  very  liberal  one  and  gave  to  the  company  upon 
its  organization  the  right  and  power  to  construct,  maintain 
and  operate  a  railroad  from  New  River  Depot  in  Pulaski 
County,  Virginia,  on  the  line  of  the  Atlantic,  Mississippi,  and 
Ohio  Railroad,  to  such  a  point  as  might  be  agreed  upon  at  or 
near  the  head  of  Camp  Creek  in  the  County  of  Mercer  and 
State  of  West  Virginia,  with  ample  provision  for  the  building 
of  branch  roads  in  Mercer  and  other  counties;  the  capital 
stock  not  to  exceed  |2,000,000.00.  The  first  meeting  of  the 
incorporators  was  held  at  Pearisburg,  and  Dr.  John  B.  Rad- 
ford was  elected  President  and  Elbert  Fowler  Secretary,  Vari- 
ous committees  were  appointed,  among  them  Captain  Richard 
B,  Roane,  who  was  authorized  and  directed  to  visit  the  coal 
fields  and  to  secure  grants  and  subscriptions  in  lands  or  money. 

1866-1905  351 

In  part  at  least,  through  Captain  Roane,  Colonel  Thomas  (jra- 
ham,  of  Philadelphia,  became  interested  in  the  scheme,  and 
finally  with  some  of  his  friends  succeeded  in  getting  control  of 
a  majority  of  the  stock  of  said  company,  and  immediately  went 
to  work  to  secure  all  the  coal  land  in  what  is  now  known  as 
the  Pocahontas  region,  and  to  push  the  building  of  the  rail- 
road into  that  field. 

In  1875  experimental  lines  were  run  from  New  River  Depot 
down  the  New  River  to  Hinton  on  the  Chesapeake  &  Ohio 
road.  Shortly'  thereafter  Colonel  Graham  succeeded  in  secur- 
ing the  Virginia  State  convicts  and  placed  them  on  the  line 
and  commenced  the  construction  of  a  narrow  gauge  railroad. 
In  the  year  of  1881  Mr.  F.  J.  Kimball,  President  of  Norfolk  & 
Western  Railroad  Company,  met  with  Major  Jed  Hotchkiss,  of 
Staunton,  Virginia,  and  in  a  conversation  insisted  that  his 
road  must  have  coal.  Major  Hotchkiss  pointed  out  to  Mr. 
Kimball  the  Flat  Top  Field  and  its  accessibility  to  his  road  and 
the  wonderful  value  of  the  coal,  which  led  Mr.  Kimball  to 
join  Hotchkiss  in  a  visit  to  the  section.  The  coal  and  mineral 
leases  and  contracts  taken  by  Captain  Roane,  together  with 
those  subsequently  taken  by  John  Graham,  Jr.,  and  Dr.  James 
O'Keiffee  were  in  the  names  of  J.  D.  Sergeant  and  others,  or 
rather  for  their  benefit. 

Some  time  prior  to  February,  1881,  the  mortgage  on  the 
Atlantic,  Mississippi  &  Ohio  Railroad  had  been  foreclosed,  and 
the  road  purchased  by  a  Philadelphia  syndicate,  who  changed 
the  name  to  Norfolk  &  Western  Railroad  Company,  which  very 
shortly  thereafter  became  the  owner  of  the  New  River  Rail- 
road, Mining  and  Manufacturing  Company's  charter,  and  on 
the  3rd  day  of  August,  1881,  the  Norfolk  &  Western  Railroad 
Company  commenced  the  construction  of  its  New  River  Branch. 
In  the  meantime  a  charter  had  been  obtained  from  the  state  of 
West  Virginia  incorporating  the  New  River  Railroad  in  West 
Virginia,  and  also  a  charter  for  the  East  River  Railroad,  in 
West  Virginia. 

On  the  0th  day  of  May,  1882,  the  New  River  Railroad  Com- 

352  New  River  Settlements 

pany  of  Virginia,  the  New  River  Railroad  Company  of  West 
Virginia,  and  the  East  River  Railroad  Company  were  merged 
and  consolidated.  The  work  on  this  line  of  road  was  rapidly 
pushed,  so  that  on  the  21st  day  of  May,  1883,  the  same  was  com- 
pleted to  Pocahontas,  Virginia,  the  terminal  point,  and  the 
first  shipments  of  coal  were  made  in  the  June  following.  The 
Messrs.  Graham,  Sergeant  and  others,  in  the  meantime,  had 
secured  by  option  and  purchase  and  had  gotten  together  some 
50,000  acres  of  valuable  coal  properties  in  the  Pocahontas  field. 
For  ten  years  or  more  prior  to  1882,  Messrs.  H.  W.  Straley, 
C.  D.  Straley,  John  A.  Douglass,  James  D.  Johnston,  and  this 
writer,  had  been  securing  coal  properties  along  the  north  side 
of  the  Bluestone  River  in  the  Flat  Top  region,  and  from  the 
Virginia  and  West  Virginia  state  line  eastward,  had  gotten 
control  of  some  20,000  acres.  In  the  year  of  1881,  these  lands 
of  Straley  and  others  were,  through  Echols,  Bell  and  Catlett, 
of  Staunton,  Virginia,  and  Honorable  Frank  Hereford,  of 
Union,  optioned  to  Samuel  Coit  of  Hartford,  Connecticut; 
which  options  were  finally  taken  by  George  M.  Bartholomew 
and  Samuel  Coit,  the  land  was  surveyed,  paid  for  and  conveyed 
to  said  Bartholomew  and  David  E.  Johnston,  trustees,  and  sub- 
sequently sold  to  E.  W.  Clark,  of  Philadelphia,  and  his  asso- 
ciates, for  1105,000.00.  The  name  given  to  the  company  by  the 
parties  who  held  these  lands  prior  to  the  sale  to  Mr.  Clark,  was 
first,  Bluestone-Flat  Top  Coal  Company,  and  afterwards  Flat 
Top  Coal  Company,  but  subsequently  Mr.  Clark  and  his  associ- 
ates organized  several  joint  stock  companies,  dividing  up  these 
lands  and  conveying  portions  thereof  to  each  of  said  companies. 
Among  the  companies  organized,  were  Bluestone  Coal  Com- 
pany, Crane  Creek  Coal  Company,  Indian  Ridge  Coal  Com- 
pany, Widemouth  Coal  Company,  Flat  Top  Coal  Company, 
and  Rich  Creek  Coal  Company,  While  these  companies  were 
being  organized,  Mr.  Clark  and  his  associates,  together  with 
some  other  persons,  organized  the  Trans-Flat  Top  Land  Asso- 
ciation, for  the  purpose  of  acquiring  coal  lands  north  and  west 
of  the  Flat  Top  Mountain,  which  association  acquired  a  large 

1866-1905  353 

territory  of  lands  in  the  Counties  of  McDowell,  Wyoming, 
Raleigh,  Boone  and  Logan,  including  the  Maitland  survey, 
called  500,000  acres,  the  Dillon  survey  of  50,000  acres,  and  a 
large  number  of  small  tracts  within  theee  surve^ys  held  under 
junior  grants.  The  holdings  of  the  several  joint  stock  com- 
panies above  named,  together  with  those  of  the  Trans-Flat  Top 
Association,  aggregated  232,483  acres.  On  the  first  day  of 
April,  1887,  the  Flat  Top  Coal  Land  Trust,  which  afterwards 
changed  itiJ  name  to  Flat  Top  Coal  Land  Association,  was 
organized  by  Edward  W.  Clark,  Sidney  F.  Tyler,  Everett  Gray, 
Robert  B.  Minturn,  Henderson  M.  Bell,  Edward  Denniston 
and  Mahlon  Sands,  the  objects  and  purposes  of  which  were  the 
purchase  and  acquisition  of  mineral  and  other  lands  and  inter- 
ests in  real  estate  in  the  states  of  Virginia,  West  Virginia,  and 
North  Carolina,  and  for  the  development,  improvement  and 
sale  of  the  same,  and  the  leasing  thereof  for  the  purpose  of 
cutting  and  the  carrying  away  of  the  timber,  of  coal  mining  for 
coal  and  coking  purposes,  for  the  purpose  of  mining  iron  ore, 
and  the  manufacturing  of  iron,  or  for  any  other  purposes.  The 
capital  of  the  association  was  to  consist  of  |40,000.00,  with  the 
right  to  increase  the  same  to  |10,000,000.00,  and  the  stock  to 
be  divided  into  two  classes,  preferred  and  common  shares,  of 
equal  amounts.  These  articles  of  association  constituted  E. 
W.  Clark,  S.  F.  Tyler,  and  H.  M.  Bell  trustees,  to  whom  was 
conveyed  all  of  the  aforesaid  lands. 

Mr,  Samuel  A.  Crozer  of  Upland,  Pennsylvania,  entered  early 
into  this  coal  field  on  the  Elkhorn  Creek,  and  purchased  a  body 
of  several  thousand  acres,  which  he  immediately  proceeded  to 
open  up  and  develop.  The  major  part  of  his  holdings  lie  largely 
on  and  along  the  Ohio  extension  of  the  Norfolk  &  Western 
Railroad.  These  lands  held  by  Clark,  Tyler  and  Bell  have  been 
recently  sold  and  conveyed  to  The  Pocahontas  Coal  &  Coke 

It  has  already  been  stated  that  the  first  coal  shipped  from 
this  field  was  in  June,  1883,  and,  as  shown  by  the  statistics,  the 
whole  output  of  coal  for  the  first  year,  1883,  was  55,522  tons, 

354  New  River  Settlements 

and  of  coke  23,762  tons.  A  large  number  of  collieries  have 
been  opened  and  are  in  operation  in  Mercer  County,  and  there 
are  a  number  of  others  opening  up  in  the  Widemouth  Valley. 
The  following  are  among  the  collieries  in  the  County  of  Mercer, 
viz : 

Mill  Creek  Coal  &  Coke  Co.  Caswell  Creek  Coal  &  Coke  Co. 

Booth-Bowen  Coal  &  Coke  Co.  Buckeye  Coal  &  Coke  Co. 

Goodwill  Coal  &  Coke  Co.  Louisville  Coal  &  Coke  Co. 

Coaldale  Coal  &  Coke  Co.  Klondike  Coal  &  Coke  Co. 

The  total  output  from  these  coal  mines  for  the  year  of  1904 
was  1,274,070  tons  of  coal,  and  of  coke  190,132  tons. 

These  coal  operations  are  carried  on  in  the  northeast  portion 
of  Tazewell  County,  Virginia,  the  northwest  portion  of  Mercer, 
and  largely  over  the  southern  portion  of  McDowell  County. 

When  the  railroad  entered  this  region  in  May,  1883,  there 
were  no  cities,  towns  or  villages.    There  are  now  in  this  field 
and  in  the  immediate  vicinity,  the  city  of  Bluefleld,  in  Mercer 
County,  with  a  population  of  nearly  11,000;  the  city  of  Poca- 
hontas, in  Tazewell  County,  with  a  population  of  about  5,000, 
and  the  towns  of  Graham,  Coopers,  Bramwell,  Ada  and  Oak- 
vale.     From  the  wildest,  most  rugged  and  romantic  country 
to  be  found  in  the  mountains  of  Virginia,  or  West  Virginia, 
this  has  become  the  most  rushing  and  thriving  business  center, 
with  a  population  of  perhaps  50,000,  whereas,  before  the  com- 
ing of  the  railroad  and  the  developments  referred  to,  the  popu- 
lation was  comparatively  small.    Many  little  thriving  villages 
and  towns  have  sprung  up  in  different  portions  of  the  county, 
mostly,  however,  along  the  lines  of  railroad,  and  in  the  mining 
district.  Athens,  formerly  Concord  Church,  a  few  years  ago  but 
a  very  small  village,  is  now  quite  a  thriving  town;  and  Prince- 
ton, the  county  town,  is  now  putting  on  city  airs  on  account 
of  the  prospective  building  of  the  Deepwater  Railroad. 

The  people  of  the  county  are  generally  prosperous  farmers, 
and  have  within  the  past  few  years  greatly  improved  their 
farms,  erected  a  better  class  of  dwelling  houses,  and  there  has 

1866-1905  855 

been  a  general  advance  and  improvement  along  the  whole  line. 
The  city  of  Bluefleld  has  had  a  marvelous  growth.  In  1888  it 
was  a  mere  flag  station  on  the  farm  of  John  B.  Higginbotham ; 
incorporated  as  a  town  in  December,  1889,  with  Judge  Joseph 
M.  Sanders  as  its  first  Mayor.  The  city  has  four  banks,  viz: 
First  National,  Flat  Top  National,  Commercial,  and  State 
Bank,  with  an  aggregate  capital  of  over  |250,000.00,  with  a  line 
of  deposits  of  over  |1,000,000.00 ;  four  hotels;  four  wholesale 
grocery  houses,  water  works,  electric  light  plant,  electric  rail- 
way line.  It  has  two  Methodist  churches  (white),  two  Metho- 
dist churches  (colored),  two  Baptist  churches  (white)  and 
two  colored  Baptist  churches,  one  church  of  the  Disciples,  one 
Lutheran,  one  Presbyterian  and  one  Catholic.  It  also  has  a 
large  high  school  building,  costing  about  $20,000.00,  accommo- 
dating nearly  800  school  children;  a  large  Institute  for  the 
colored  people,  which  was  built  on  state  account,  and  is  sup- 
ported by  state  appropriations ;  and  also  a  large  opera  house. 

The  city  is  built  on  the  watershed  between  the  head  branch 
of  East  River  and  the  waters  of  the  Bluestone,  in  the  extreme 
southwestern  portion  of  Mercer  County,  and  is  about  2557 
feet  above  tide,  in  a  high  and  healthful  location,  and  bids  fair 
in  a  few  years  to  have  a  population  of  more  than  double  what 
it  has  at  present.  Mercer  County  has,  including  the  railroad 
yard  at  Bluefleld,  about  195.03  miles  of  trackage  in  the  county, 
of  which  74.3  miles  are  within  the  city  of  Bluefleld. 

The  taxable  values  in  the  county  for  the  year  of  1880  were 
1676,009.00  and  in  the  year  of  1905  $4,103,563.00. 




Deeming  it  of  interest  to  the  reader,  a  brief  history  of  the 
organization  of  Courts  of  Justice  for  the  states  of  Virginia 
and  West  Virginia,  taken  from  the  statutes  and  codes  of  said 
states  is  here  inserted.     (See  Compilation  in  Code  1849.) 

An  Act  was  passed  in  Virginia,  in  1784,  for  the  establishment 
of  courts  of  Assize  (Hen-State  Vol.  II,  p.  422),  but  it  never 
went  into  operation ;  it  was  first  suspended,  and  then  repealed 
(Id.  Vol.  12,  pp.  45,  267,  497).  It  was  succeeded  by  the  Act 
establishing  District  Courts  of  law  (Id.  p.  532,  Ch.  39,  p.  644, 
Ch.  1,  p.  730,  Ch.  67).  These  District  Courts,  after  being  in 
operation  about  twenty  years,  were  abolished  in  1809,  under 
the  Acts  establishing  a  Superior  Court  of  law  in  each  county 
(1807-8,  p.  5,  Ch.  3;  p.  10,  Ch.  14;  1809,  p.  9,  Ch.  6).  The  sev- 
eral acts  concerning  Superior  Courts  of  law  were  reduced  into 
one  by  the  Act  of  1819  (1st  Rev.  Code,  p.  227,  Ch.  69).  In 
1777  an  Act  passed  establishing  a  high  court  of  Chancery  for 
the  state  (Hen-Stat,  Vol.  9,  p!  389,  Ch.  15).  When  first  estab- 
lished it  consisted  of  three  judges,  but  the  number  was  reduced 
to  one  by  the  Act  of  1788  (Id.  Vol.  12,  p.  767) .  The  jurisdiction 
of  this  court  extended  over  the  whole  state  until  1802,  when  the 
state  was  divided  into  three  districts,  and  a  Superior  Court  of 
Chancery  established  for  each  district  (1801-2,  p.  12,  Ch.  14). 
The  places  of  holding  these  courts  were  Richmond,  Williams- 
burg and  Staunton.  In  1812  the  Staunton  district  was  divided 
into  four  districts ;  the  judge,  previously  assigned  to  the  Staun- 
ton district  was  to  hold  courts  for  these,  to-wit :    At  Staunton 

358  New  River  Settlements 

and  Wythe  Court  House,  and  a  new  judge  was  to  hold  court 
for  the  two  others,  to-wit:  at  Winchester  and  Chirksburg 
(1811-12,  p.  19,  Ch.  15).  In  1814  the  Richmond  and  Williams- 
burg districts  were  divided  into  four  districts;  the  judge  previ- 
ously assigned  to  the  Richmond  district  was  to  hold  courts  for 
two  of  these,  to-wit :  at  Richmond  and  Lynchburg,  and  the 
judge  previously  assigned  to  the  Williamsburg  district  was  to 
hold  court  for  the  other  two,  to-wit:  at  Williamsburg  and 
Fredericksburg  (1813-14,  p.  44,  Ch.  16).  Under  a  subsequent 
Act  of  the  same  year,  the  judge  of  the  Staunton  and  Wythe 
district  was,  for  certain  counties,  to  hold  a  court  at  Green- 
brier Court  House  (1813-14,  p.  81,  Ch.  33).  The  Acts  concern- 
ing the  Superior  Court  of  Chancery  were  reduced  into  one  by 
the  Act  of  1818  (1st  Rev.  Code,  p.  196,  Ch.  66).  The  Superior 
Courts  of  law  held  by  fifteen  judges,  and  the  Superior  Courts 
of  Chancery  held  by  four  judges,  were  abolished  by  the  Act  of 
the  16th  day  of  April,  1831,  which  divided  the  state  into  20 
circuits,  held  by  that  number  of  judges,  and  established  a 
Circuit  Superior  Court  of  Law  and  Chancery  for  each  county 
and  in  certain  corporations  (1830-1,  p.  42,  Ch.  11).  Thus  it 
will  be  seen  that  it  was  about  thirty-five  years  from  the  date 
of  the  establishment  of  courts  of  Chancery  in  Virginia  before 
one  of  such  courts  were  authorized  to  be  held  west  of  the  Alle- 
ghanies;  therefore  our  people,  having  occasion  to  resort  to  a 
Court  of  Conscience  to  have  their  grievances  settled,  had  to 
travel  many  miles  towards  the  rising  sun  to  find  a  law  doctor, 
authorized  to  administer  relief.  "As  stated,  the  itinerant  Cir- 
cuit Court  system  was  not  adopted  until  April,  1831,  before 
that  time  the  courts  were  held  by  the  judges  of  the  District  and 
General  court,  who  by  allotment  were  assigned  to  tlie  various 
districts  as  they  then  existed. 

The  following  judges  of  the  districts  and  General  courts  and 
of  the  Circuit  courts  held  terms  of  court  in  the  territory  now 
embraced  in  the  counties  of  Montgomery,  Giles,  Tazewell, 
Monroe,  and  Mercer  from  1809  to  the  present : 

Courts  and  Court  Officers.  359 

judges  op  the  general  court. 
Hon.  John  Coalter.  Hon.  Allen  Taylor. 

Hon.  Paul  Carington.  Hon,  Peter  Johnston. 

Hon.  Archibald  Stewart.  Hon.  James  Allen. 

Hon.  William  Brockenborough.Hon.  John  J.  Allen. 


Benjamine  Estill.  John  J.  Allen. 

Edward  Johnston.  James  E.  Brown. 

George  W.  Hopkins.  Andrew  S.  Fulton. 

Samuel  G.  Fulkerson.  John  A.  Campbell. 

John  W.  Johnston.  Edward  B.  Bailey. 

Eobert  M.  Hudson.  Tipton. 

Alexander  Mahood.  Evermont  Ward. 

John  H.  Fulton.  Randall  M.  Brown. 

D.  W.  Bolen.  Samuel  W.  Williams. 

R.  C.  Jackson.  Henry  E.  Blair. 
W.  J.  Henson. 


George  Wythe.  Creed  Taylor. 

William  Wirt.  Henry  St  George  Tucker. 


P.  W.  Strother.  George  W.  Easley. 

A.  N.  Heiflin.  Martin  W^illiams. 

Bernard  Mason. 


James  P.  Kelley.  Sterling  F.  Watts. 

Samuel  C.  Graham.  S.  M.  B.  Couling. 

J.  H.  Stuart. 

The  following  are  the  names  of  the  Circuit  judges  who  have 
presided  over  the  Circuit  Court  of  Mercer  County  since  its 
organization,  viz: 

Honorable  James  E.  Brown,  Wytheville,  Virginia. 
Honorable  Edward  B.  Bailey,  Fayetteville,  Virginia. 


New  River  Settlements 

Honorable  Evermont  Ward,  Logan,  Virginia  and  West  Va. 
Honorable  Nathanial  Harrison,  Union,  West  Virginin 
Honorable  Henry  L.  Gillaspie,  Beckley,  West  Virginia. 
Honorable  David  E.  Johnston,  I'rinceton,  West  Virginia. 
Honorable  Robert  C.  McClaugherty,  Princeton,  West  Va. 
Honorable  Joseph  M.  Sanders,  Bkiefleld,  West  Virginia. 
Honorable  Luther  L.  Chambers,  Welch,  West  Virginia. 

The  following  is  a  list  of  the  names  of  the  justices  of  the 
peace  for  the  counties  of  Fincastle  and  Montgomery,  serving 
on  the  courts  of  these  counties  from  1773  to  1805 : 

John  Kent. 

Arthur  Campbell. 
Daniel  Trigg. 
John  Henderson. 
Adam  Dean. 
Joseph  Gray. 
William  Christian 
Andrew  Lewis. 
Daniel  Howe. 
James  Charlton. 
James  McGavock. 
James  Thompson. 
Andrew  Boyd. 
James  Byrn. 
John  Preston. 
James  Craig. 
James  McCorkle. 
Christian  Snidow. 
William  Ward. 
Walter  Crockett. 
John  Adams. 
James  Robertson. 
John  T.  Sawyers. 
Robert  Moffett. 
John  Tavlor. 

Henry  Patton. 
John  Hough. 
Flower  Swift. 
Thomas  Goodson. 
Joseph  Cloyd. 
George  Rutlege. 
William  Love. 
James  Taylor. 
Anthony  Bledsoe. 
Jonathan  Isan. 
George  Pearis. 
James  Reaburn. 
James  Newell. 
John  Taylor. 
William  Russell. 
James  P.  Preston. 
William  Davis. 
James  Woods. 
Thomas  Shannon. 
James  Barnett. 
^Villiam  Preston. 
David  French. 

County  and  District  Officers,  361 

The  following  is  a  list  of  the  names  of  the  sheriffs  of  Fin- 
castle  and  Montgomery  counties  from  1773  to  1806 : 

William  Ingles.  John  Montgomery. 

Walter  Crockett.  Andrew  Lewis. 

James  McCorkle.  Charles  Taylor. 

Daniel  Trigg.  Joseph  Cloyd. 

James  Barnett.  Henry  Patton. 

The  following  are  the  names  of  the  gentlemen  who  repre- 
sented this  New  River  district  of  country  in  the  various  consti- 
tutional conventions  of  Virginia,  viz : 

1776,  Arthur  Campbell  and  William  Russell,  representing 
Fincastle  County. 

1788,  the  convention  assembled  to  consider  the  ratification 
or  rejection  of  the  Federal  constitution,  viz :  Walter  Crockett 
and  Abraham  Trigg,  from  Montgomery  County. 

1829-30,  Gordon  Cloyd,  Henley  Chapman,  George  P.  Mat- 
thews and  William  Oglesby. 

1850-51,  Albert  G.  Pendleton,  Allen  T.  Caperton  and  A.  A. 


Giles  County — Manilius  Chapman. 

Monroe  County — Allen  T.  Caperton  and  John  Echols. 

Mercer  County — Napoleon  B.  French. 

Tazewell  County — William  P.  Cecil  and  Samuel  L.  Graham. 


Giles  and  Pulaski  Counties — Eustace  Gibson. 
Tazewell  and  Bland  Counties — James  M.  French. 


Giles  and  Pulaski  Counties — Joseph  C.  Wysor. 
Tazewell  County — Albert  Pendleton  Gillespie. 

Members  of  the  House  of  Representatives  of  the  United 
States,  representing  the  territory  in  the  now  counties  of  Mont- 
gomery, Giles,  Tazewell,  Monroe  and  Mercer,  from  1789  to  the 


New  Eiver  Settlements 

creation  and  organization  of  the  state  of  West  Virginia,  June 
20th,  1863,  and  also  the  names  of  those  who  have  been  members 
of  Congress  from  the  9th  Congressional  District  of  Virginia 
since  1863: 


Andrew  Moore. 
Hugh  Caperton. 
Robert  Craig. 
A.  A.  Chapman. 
Fayette  McMullen. 
Francis  Preston. 
John  Floyd. 
William  McComas. 
William  B.  Preston. 
W.  R.  Staples. 
Abram  Trigg. 
Robert  B.  Craig. 
Andrew  Bierne. 
Henry  A.  Edmundson. 

State  Senators  from 
gomery,  Giles,  Monroe, 
1773-1863 : 

William  Christian. 
John  Preston. 
James  Hoge. 
Andrew  Bierne. 
Manilius  Chapman. 
Charles  H.  G reaver. 
A.  A.  Chapman. 
William  Fleming. 
James  Preston. 
Henley  Chapman. 


Daniel  Hoge,  1865-7. 
James  K.  Gibson,  1869-71. 
William  Terrv,  1871-73. 
Rees  T.  Bowen,  1873-75. 
William  Terry,  1875-77. 
A.  L.  Pridemore,  1877-79. 
J.  B.  Richmond,  1879-81. 
Abram  Fulkerson,  1881-83. 
Henry  Bowen,  1883-85. 
C.  F.  Trigg,  1885-87. 
Henry  Bowen,  1887-89. 
John  A.  Buckhannan,  1889-93. 
James  W.  Marshall,  1893-95. 
James  A.  Walker,  1895-99. 
W.  F.  Rhea,  1899-1903. 
C.  T.  Slemp,  1903-1905. 

the  district  comprising  in  part  Mont- 
Mercer  and  Tazewell   counties  from 

William  Thomas. 
William  H.  French. 
J.  W.  M.  Witten. 
William  Russell. 
John  Chapman. 
Joseph  Draper. 
Allen  T.  Caperton. 
William  B.  Preston. 
Napoleon  B.  French. 

Members  of  House  op  Delegates.  363 

The  following  is  a  list  of  the  names  of  the  gentlemen  who 
represented  Montgomery  County  in  the  General  Assembly  of 
Virginia  from  1785  to  1806,  inclusive : 

1785-6 — Robert  Sayers  and  John  Breckenridge. 
1788 — Daniel  Trigg  and  Joseph  Oloyd. 
1793 — Andrew  Lewis  and  John  Preston. 
1795-6 — James  Craig  and  James  Barnett. 
1797-8 — John  Ingles  and  James  Taylor. 
1800 — Daniel  Howe  and  James  Craig. 
1804 — John  Ingles  and  John  Gardner. 
1805 — John  Ingles  and  Andrew  Lewis. 

Giles  County^  being  created  in  1806,  and  being  entitled  to 
two  representatives,  the  following  named  gentlemen  were  elect- 
ed as  her  representatives : 

1807-8-9-10 — Andrew  Johnston  and  Thomas  Shannon. 
1811 — Andrew  Johnston  and  Hugh  Caperton,  Sr. 
1812 — John  Chapman,  Jr.,  and  Christian  Snidow. 
1813-14 — David  Johnston  and  John  Chapman,  Jr. 
1815-16-17 — Andrew  Johnston  and  William  Smith. 
1818-19 — John  Peters,  Jr.,  and  John  Kirk,  Sr. 
1820-21-22— David  Johnston  and  Christian  Snidow. 
1823-24— William  H.  Snidow  and  William  Smith. 
182.5 — Charles  King  and  William  Smith. 
1826— William  H.  Snidow  and  Charles  King. 
1827— William  H.  Snidow  and  William  Smith. 
1828— William  H.  Snidow  and  Charles  King  . 
1829 — Samuel  Pack  and  George  N.  Pearis. 
1830 — Samuel  Pack  and  Charles  King. 

Under  the  Constitution  of  1829-30  Giles  County  was  en- 
titled to  one  delegate  only,  and  the  following  named  gentle- 
men were  elected  to  the  assembly  from  that  county,  to- wit : 

1831— William  Smith.  1835— Reuben  F.  Watts. 

1832— William  H.  Snidow.  1836-37— Daniel  Hale. 

1833-34— Morton  P.  Emmons. 

364  New  River  Settlements 

Mercer  County,  created  in  1837,  and  attached  to  the  delegate 
district  of  Giles  and  Mercer,  elected  the  following  representa- 
tives to  the  assembly,  to-wit : 

1838— William  Smith.  1846— Madison  Allen. 

1839 — Manilius  Chapman.  1847 — Cornelius  White. 

1840— Charles  King.  1848— Lewis  Neal. 

1841— Oscar  F.  Johnson.  1849— Elijah  Bailey. 

1842-3— William  H.  French.  1850— Albert  G.  Pendleton. 

1844— Albert  G.  Pendleton.  1851— George  W.  Pearls. 
1845— William  H.  French. 

Representatives  from  Giles  County  after  adoption  of 
the  Constitution  of  1850-1 : 

1852-5— Thomas  Shannon.  1809-71- F.  W.  Mahood. 

1855-7— A.  G.  Pendleton.  1871-3— J.  C.  Snidow. 

1857-9— Madison  Allen.  1873-5— P.  W.  Strother. 

1859-61— Samuel  Lucas.  1875-7— S.  E.  Lybrook. 

1861-3 — William  Eggleston.  1877-9 — James  D.  Johnston. 

1863-5— Absolom  Fry.  1879-81— C.  J.  Mathews. 

1866-8— A.  G.  Pendleton.  1881-3— S.  E.  Lybrook. 

Representatives  from  Pulaski  and  Giles: 

1883-5— J.  H.  Darst.  1891-3— J.  R.  Caddall. 

1885-7— J.  E.  Moore.  1893-7— James  W.  Williams. 

1887-9— H.  B.  Howe.  1897-9—1).  C.  Pollard. 

1889-91— S.  E.  Lybrook.  1899-01— J.  R.  Stafford. 

Representatives  from  Bland  and  Giles : 
1901-3— George  T.  Bird.  1905— Martin  Williams. 

Under  the  Constitution  of  1851  Mercer  County  was  entitled 
to  a  delegate  of  her  own,  and  under  that  Constitution  elections 
were  held  everv  two  years,  and  the  following  are  the  names  of 
the  gentlemen  who  represented  Mercer  County  after  the  adop- 
tion of  this  Constitution,  viz : 

1851-52— Reuben  Garretson.       1855-56— William  M.  Meador. 
1853-54— James  M.  Bailey.  1857-59— James  M.  Bailey. 

Constitutional  Delegates  and  U.  S.  Senators.        365 

1860-61 — Napoleon  B.  French.  1865 — Alexander  Maliood ;  elect 
1862-61 — Robert  A,  Richardson.         ed,  but  did  not  serve. 

West  Virginia  Constitutional  Conventions^  1863-1872. 

Captain  Richard  M.  Cook,  of  Wyoming  County,  claimed  to 
have  represented  Mercer  County  in  the  West  Virginia  Consti- 
tutional convention  of  1863,  but  no  evidence  can  be  adduced 
that  he  was  ever  legally  elected  as  such  representative,  or  had 
any  legal  authority  to  sit  in  that  body  as  the  representative  of 
the  people  of  Mercer  County. 

In  the  convention  of  1872  the  Senatorial  district  delegates 
were  Doctor  Isaiah  Bee,  of  Mercer,  and  Honorable  Evermont 
Ward,  of  Cabell ;  and  Elder  James  Calfee  represented  the 
County  of  Mercer. 

United  States  Senators  from  West  Virginia  from  1863  to 
the  ijresent: 

Peter  C.  Van  Winkle,  Parkerburg;  December  7th,  1863,  March 
4th,  1869. 

Waitman   P.   Willey,    Morgantown;    December   7th,    1863,    to 
March  1th,  1871. 

Arthur  I.  Boreman,  Parkersburg;  March  4th,  1869,  to  March^ 

Henry  G.  Davis,  Piedmont;  March  4th,  1871,  to  March  Ith^ 


Allen  T.  Caperton,  Union ;  March  4th,  1875,  to  death  July  26th, 

Samuel  Price,  Lewisburg;  appointed  August  26th,  1876;  De- 
cember 4th,  1876,  to  January  30th,  1877. 

Frank  Hereford,  Union;  January  31st,  1877,  to  March  3rd, 


Johnson  N.  Camden,  Parkersburg;  March  4th,  1881,  to  March 
3rd,  1887. 

John  E,  Kenna,  Charleston;  March  4th,  1883,  to  March  3rd, 
1895.     (Died  in  1893.) 

366  New  River  Settlements 

Charles  J.  Faulkner,  Martinsburg;  March  4th,  1887,  to  March 

3rd,  1893. 
Johnson  N.  Camden  ,Parkersburg ;  March  4th,  1893,  to  March 

3rd,  1895.     (Unexpired  term  of  John  E.  Kenna.) 
Charles  J.  Faulkner,  Martinsburg;  March  4th,  1893,  to  March 

3rd,  1899. 
Stephen  B.  Elkins,  Elkins;  March  4th,  1895,  to  March  3rd,  1901. 
N.  B.  Scott,  Wheeling ;  March  4th,  1899,  to  March  3rd,  1905. 
Stephen  B.  Elkins,  Elkins ;  March  4th,  1901,  to  March  3rd,  1907. 
N.  B.  Scott,  elected  January,  1905,  for  a  term  of  six  years. 

Congressional  Elections^  1864-1904,  in  the  3rd  and  5th  Dis- 
tricts of  West  Virginia,  which  districts  embrace  Mercer 
County : 

1864— K.  V.  Whaley,  Rep.,  over  John  M.  Phelps,  Dem.,  by  1236 

1866 — Daniel  Polsley,  Rep.,  over  John  H.  Oley,  Dem.,  by  1471 

1808 — John  S.  Witcher,  Rep.,  over  Charles  P.  T.  Moore,  Dem., 

by  1409  majority. 
1870 — Frank  Hereford,  Dem.,  over  John  S.  Witcher,  Rep.,  by 

1493  majority. 
1872— Frank  Hereford,  Dem.,  over  J.  B.  Walker,  Rep.,  by  8884 

1874 — Frank  Hereford,  Dem.,  over  John  S,  Witcher,  Rep.,  by 

5779  majority. 
1876 — Frank  Hereford,  Dem.,  over  Benj.  T.  Redmond,  Rep.,  by 

17,573  majority. 
1878 — John  E.  Kenna,  Dem.,  over  Henry  S.  Walker,  Gr.  B.,  by 

2827  majority. 
1880 — John  E.  Kenna,  Dem.,  over  Henry  S.  Walker,  Gr.  B.,  by 

5310  majority. 
1882 — John  E.  Kenna,  Dem.,  over  E.  L.  Buttrick,  Rep.,  by  4465 

1883-4 — C.  P.  Snyder,  Dem.,  over  James  H.  Brown,  Rep.,  by 

1230  majority. 

Congressmen  and  State  Senators.  367 

1884 — C.  P.  Snyder,  Dem.,  over  James  W.  Davis,  Rep.,  by  2119 

1886 — C.  P.  Snyder,  Dem.,  over  James  H.  Brown,  Rep.,  by  815 

1888 — John  D.  Alderson,  Dem.,  over  J.  H.  McGinnis,  Rep.,  by 

1293  majority. 
1890 — John  D.  Alderson,  Dem.,  over  Theophilus  Gaines,  Rep., 

by  5014  majority. 
1892 — John  D.  Alderson,  Dem.,  over  Edgar  P.  Rucker,  Rep.,  by 

1946  majority. 
1894 — James  H.  Huling,  Rep.,  over  John  D.  Alderson,  Dem., 

by  4018  majority. 
1896— Charles  P.  Dorr,  Rep.,  over  E.  W.  Wilson,  Dem.,  by  3631 

1898 — David  E.  Johnston,  Dem.,  over  William  S.  Edwards, 

Rep.,  by  765  majority. 
1900 — Joseph  H.  Gaines,  Rep.,  over  David  E.  Johnston,  Dem,, 

by  6570  majority. 
1902 — James  A.  Hughes,  Rep.,  over  David  E.  Johnston,  Dem., 

by  4750  majority. 
1904 — James  A.  Hughes,  Rep.,  over  Simon  Altizer,  Dem.,  by 

6317  majority. 

State  Senators  from  the  senatorial  district  composed  of 
Mercer  and  other  counties  from  1863 : 

Robert  Hager,  David  E.  Johnston. 

William  Workman.  Wayne  Ferguson. 

Mitchell  Cook.  Jerome  C.  Shelton. 

Thomas  B.  Kline.  John  W.  McCreery. 

I.  E.  McDonald.  John  B.  Floyd. 

W.  E.  Wilkenson.  William  M.  Mahood. 

Ira  J.  McGinnis.  John  A.  Sheppard. 

Joel  E.  Stollings.  W.  H.  H.  Cook. 

C.  V.  White.  James  F.  Beavers. 

Clark  W.  May.  W.  W.  Whyte. 


New  River  Settlements 

The  following  are  the  names  of  the  representatives  of  Mer- 
cer County  in  the  House  of  Delegates  of  West  Virginia,  from 
1863  to  1905,  inclusive : 

Regular  and  extra  ses- 

1S63-7— Thomas  Little 

sion,  George  Evans. 
1869— William  M.  French. 
1870 — George  Evans. 
1871 — Sylvester  Upton. 
1872— William  L.  Bridges. 
1872-3— Isaac  J.  Ellison. 
1875— William  M.  Reynolds. 
1877 — William  B.  Davidson. 
1879— Carroll  Clark. 
1881-3— Isaiah  Bee. 

1885— A.  C.  Davidson. 
1887— William  M.  Reynolds. 
1889- R.  G.  Meador. 
1891-93— H.  M.  Shumate. 
1895— J.  C.  Pack. 
1897 — James  A.  White. 
1899— Isaiah  Bee. 
1901 — James  Hearn. 
1903— D.  P.  Crockett  and 

Thomas  Reed. 
1905— E.  S.  Baker  and 

James  Hearn. 

The  following  is  a 
practice  in  the  Circuit 

Henley  Chapman. 
Thomas  J.  Boyd. 
David  Hall. 
Sterling  F.  Watts. 
William  P.  Cecil. 
A.  A.  Chapman, 
John  J.  Wade. 
Henry  L.  Gillespie. 
Hugh  S.  Tiffany. 
James  H.  McGinnis. 
William  A.  Monroe. 
J.  Speed  Thompson. 
David  E.  Johnston. 
C.  A.  Sperry. 
R.  C.  McClaugherty. 
Alonzo  Gooch. 
James  H.  French. 
J.  W.  Hale. 

list  of  the  attorney s-at-1  aw  admitted  to 
Court  of  Mercer  County: 

Wirt  A.  French. 
Charles  R.  McNutt. 
Albert  G.  Pendleton, 
Nathaniel  Harrison. 
James  H.  Ferguson. 
John  A.  Kelley. 
Alexander  Mahood. 
Samuel  Price. 
John  Echols. 
James  W.  English. 
W.  G.  Ryan. 
Cyrus  Newlon. 
John  Phelps. 
J.  M.  Killey. 
Samuel  C.  Graham. 
S.  S.  Dinwiddle. 
M.  M.  Lowry. 
James  M.  French. 

Attorneys  of  Mercer  County. 


Martin  Williams. 
D.  W.  McClaugherty. 
George  E.  Floyd. 
Edgar  Rucker. 
A.  J.  May. 
S.  M.  B.  Couling. 
Thomas  L.  Henritzie, 
Benjamine  F.  Keller. 
Thomas  Bruce. 
Allen  T.  Caperton. 
Joseph  Stras. 
Evermont  Ward. 
James  P.  Kelley. 
Manilius  Chapman. 
James  D.  Johnston. 
Robert  A.  Richardson. 
Wade  D.  Strother. 
Frank  Hereford. 
A.  G.  Tebbetts. 
James  W.  Davis. 
F.  W.  Mahood. 
James  B.  Peck. 
H.  C.  Alderson. 
W.  W.  Adams. 
Thomas  J.  Munsey. 
Sdmuel  W.  Williams. 
John  W.  McCreery. 
W.  W.  McClaugherty. 
S.  D.  May. 
John  Osborne, 
Robert  L.  French. 
James  L.  Hamill. 
Joseph  S.  Clark. 
A.  W,  Reynolds. 
A.  C.  Davidson. 
M.  T.  Browning. 

George  Evans. 
E.  T.  Mahood. 
Charles  W.  Smith. 
James  W.  St.  Clair. 
W.  L.  Taylor. 
J.  R.  Fishburne. 
James  E.  Brown. 
H.  A.  Ritz. 
Joseph  S.  French. 
Z.  W.  Crockett. 
H.  W.  Straley,  Jr. 
Hugh  G.  Woods. 
B.  W.  Pendleton. 
Jesse  D.  Daniel. 
John  M.  Anderson. 
James  S.  Browning. 
R.  R.  Henry. 
I.  C.  Herndon. 
R.  Haden  Penn. 
Martin  H.  Holt. 
John  R.  Pendleton. 
Frank  M.  Peters. 
J.  Frank  Maynard. 
Jas.  French  Strother. 
D,  M.  Easley. 
George  Crockett. 
Jas.  A.  Strother. 
William  M.  Mahood. 
John  M.  McGrath. 
A.  M.  Sutton. 
J.  W.  Hicks. 
Wyndham  Stokes. 
A.  P.  Gillespie. 
J.  W.  Heptinstall. 
Claude  Holland. 
John  Nininger. 


New  River  Settlements 

(attorneys  of  mercer  county — Cont'd.). 

Okey  Johnson. 
E.  W.  Hale. 
P.  W.  Strother. 
Bernard  McClaugherty. 
J.  W.  Chapman. 
G.  J.  Holbrook. 

Joseph  M.  Sanders. 
Cjrus  Martin. 
John  R.  Dillard. 
D.  H.  Johnston. 
Norman  S.  Allen. 

The  following  is  a  list  of  persons  who  have  held  the  office  of 
sheriff  of  Mercer  County  from  1837  to  the  present  time : 

1837 — William    Smith    was    appointed    by    the    Governor    of 

1838— William  Smith. 
1839— John  Davidson. 
1840 — John  Davidson. 
1841-2— John  Brown. 
1843— Robert  Gore. 
1844-6— Elijah  Peters. 
1847-8— H.  A.  Walker. 
1849-50— Cornelius  White. 
1851— Robert  Hall. 
1852-3— Benjamine  McNutt. 
1854— Ralph  Hale. 
1856— Ralph  Hale. 

1858-60— John  A.  Pack. 
1860-64— John  A.  Pack. 
1866-70— Benjamine  White. 
1870-1— John  T.  Smith. 
1872-6 — George  L.  Karnes. 
1876-80— John  S.  Carr. 
1880-4— Jos.  H.  McClaugherty. 
1884-8 — George  L.  Karnes. 
1888-92— James  A.  White. 
1892-96— R.  C.  Dangerfield. 
1896-1900— J.  E.  T.  Sentz. 
1904— L.  B.  Farley. 
David  Lilley  elected  sheriff  in  1870,  but  declined  to  qualify 
and  John  T.  Smith  was  appointed  in  his  place. 

surveyors  of  mercer  county. 

Robert  Hall.  Edv/ard  H.  French. 

Andrew  White,  L.  M.  Stinson. 

W.  J.  Comer.  John  Bailey. 
George  W.  Caldwell. 

judges  of  the  criminal  court  of  mercer  county. 

Hon,  James  M.  French.  Hon.  Charles  W.  Smith. 

Hon.  John  M.  McGrath.  Hon.  Hugh  H,  Woods, 

Mercer  County  Officers.  371 

The  following  is  a  list  of  the  names  of  the  Clerks  of  the 
County  Court  of  Mercer  County  from  1837  to  the  present  time : 

1837 — Moses  E.  Kerr  served  seven  years. 

1844 — Charles  W.  Calfee  served  seven  years. 

1851 — William  F.  Heptinstall  served  for  one  year. 

1852-65— Charles  W.  Calfee. 

1865 — George  Evans,  recorder  and  clerk  of  Circuit  Court. 

1870-71 — Joseph  H.  Alvis,  Recorder  and  Clerk. 

1872 — George  Evans,  Recorder  and  Clerk. 

1873-9 — Benjamine  G.  McNutt,  Recorder  and  Clerk. 

1879-85— C.  R.  McNutt. 

1885-91— Samuel  P.  Pearis. 

1891-7— William  H.  H.  Witten. 

1897-1903— A.  J.  Hearn. 

1903 — Estill  Bailey,  elected  for  six  years. 

The  following  is  a  list  of  the  names  of  the  Clerks  of  the 
Circuit  Court  for  Mercer  County  from  1837  to  the  present  time : 

1837-43 — James    M.    Cunning-  1871-3— George  Evans. 

ham.  1873-9— R.  B.  Foley. 

1843-55— Alexander  Mahood.  1879-85— F.  A.  Bolin. 

1855-59— Joseph  H.  Alvis.  1885-96— R.  C.  Christie. 

1859-65— William  A.  Mahood.  1896-1902— W.  B.  Honaker. 

1865-69— George  Evans.  1902— W.  B.  Honaker. 
1869-70— Joseph  H.  Alvis. 

The  following  is  a  list  of  the  names  of  Justices  of  the  Peace 
for  Mercer  County  from  1837  to  1904 : 

1837— Moses  E.  Kerr.  1850— George  W.  Pearis. 

1837— William  Smith.  1850— N.  B.  French. 

1837— Josiah  Meador.  1850— Elijah  Peters, 

1837 — Robert  Lilley.  1854 — James  Brammer. 

1837— John  Davidson.  1854— H.  W.  Straley. 

1840— Henry  Brooks.  1854— William  M.  French. 

1840 — James  Shrewsbury.  1854 — John  S.  Carr. 

1850— William  Smith.  1854— Ralph  Hale. 


New  River  Settlements 

(mercer  county 

1855 — Cornelius  White. 
1865— A.  W.  Cole. 
1865— A.  W.  J.  Caperton. 
1865 — James  Bowling. 
1865— Joel  Sloane. 
1866— Russell  G.  French. 
1866— R.  Hambriek. 
1866— Joel  Sloane. 
1866— A.  W.  J.  Caperton. 
186&— William  Meadows. 
1867— A.  W.  Cole. 
1867 — James  Bowling. 
1867— A.  W.  J.  Caperton. 
1868— Lorenzo  D.  Little. 
1869— A.  J.  Davis. 
1870— William  C.  Honaker. 
1871 — John  J.  Hetherington. 
1872 — Henry  Davidson. 
1872— Zachariah  Fellers. 
1872— A.  J.  Davis. 
1872— A.  W.  J.  Caperton. 
1872— Eli  Bailey. 
1872 — Lorenzo  D.  Martin. 
1872— Lewis  Lilley. 
1872— David  B.  Pendleton. 
1872— A.  G.  Stovell. 
1872— Andrew  White. 
1872— William  A.  Wiley. 
1877— William  Meador. 
1877 — Henry  Davidson. 
1881— Elijah  Bailey. 
1881 — Joshua  Day. 
1881 — Henry  Davidson. 
1881— Harmon  White. 
1881 — Henry  Higginbotham. 

officers — Cont'd.) . 
1881 — Leonidas  Goodwyn. 
1881— A.  I.  Godfrey. 
1881— Lewis  Lilley. 
1881 — John  L.  Johnston. 
1881— L.  D.  Martin. 
1881— T.  J.  Monroe. 
1882— J.  F.  Holroyd. 
1882— N.  B.  French. 
1883— Gaston  P.  Walker. 
1884 — John  L.  Johnston. 
1884— John  S.  Carr. 
1884— Lewis  Lilley. 
1885— George  W.  Belcher. 
1885— H.  F.  Gore. 
1885— Elijah  Bailey. 
1885— Leftwich  Bailey. 
1885 — James  F.  Holroyd. 
1885 — John  L.  Johnston. 
1886— A.  J.  Young. 
1887— A.  W.  Read. 
1888— A.  W.  Read. 
1888— L.  C.  Shrewsberry. 
1888— R.  C.  Dangerfleld. 
1889— Z.  T.  Rodgers. 
1889— W.  F.  Steele. 
1889— George  Burch. 
1889— John  T.  Carr. 
1889— William  A.  Cooper. 
1889— A.  I.  Godfrey. 
1889— H.  F.  Gore. 
1889— L.  L.  Hearn. 
1889— Lewis  Lilley. 
1890— D.  E.  Burgess. 
1890— M.  W.  Franklin. 
1890 — James  H.  Bare. 

Counties — When  Formed,,  Etc. 


1891— W.  J.  Clark. 
1892— Willoughby  Miller. 
1894— H.  G.  Thorn. 
1894— A.  I.  Godfrey. 
1894 — J  .A.  Chambers. 
1894— David  French. 
1895— G.  C.  Bailey. 
1895— William  J.  Clark. 
1895— H.  E.  Thomas. 
1895— John  L.  Biggs. 
1896— Davis  Thorn. 
1896— T.  C.  Comer. 
1896— W.  J.  Rumburg. 
1896— L.  L.  Hearn. 
1896— E.  T.  Oliver. 
1897— C.  S.  Hedrick. 
1897— F.  J.  Brown. 
1897— G.  C.  Bailey. 
1897— David  French. 
1897— Allen  C.  Wiley. 
1899— C.  W.  Gore. 
1900— C.  W.  Gore. 
1900— James  H.  Brinkley. 

1900— F.  J.  Brown. 
1900— T.  C.  Hubbard. 
1900— W.  S.  Harless. 
1900— E.  T.  Oliver. 
1900— Davis  Thorn. 
1903— Joshua  Day. 
1903— J.  A.  Chambers. 
1903— Allen  C.  Wiley. 
1903— George  O.  Tavor. 
1903— J.  D.  Burkholder. 
1903— John  T.  Carr. 
1903— W.  T.  Eperly. 
1903— W.  A.  Henderson. 
1903— R.  A.  Glendy. 
1903— J.  M.  Anderson  . 
1904— E.  P.  Godby. 
1904— W.  S.  Harless. 
1904 — James  A.  Lilley. 
1904— J.  A.  Chambers. 
1904— C.  W.  Gore. 
1904 — George  P.  Danewood. 
1904— Burk. 






Prior  to  1738  all  that  part  of  Virginia  lying  west  of  the  Blue 
Ridge  was  included  in  the  County  of  Orange,  but  in  the  fall 
session  of  that  year  this  territory  was  divided  into  the  counties 
of  Frederick  and  Augusta.  It  may  be  of  interest  to  the  reader 
to  present  a  list  of  the  various  sub-divisions  of  the  territory 

374  New  Kiver  Settlements 

referred  to  into  counties,  with  the  dates  of  formation  and  from 
whence  the  names  of  the  counties  were  derived : 

Hampshire,  1754,  from  Hampshire,  England. 

Botetourt,  1770,  from  Governor  Botetourt. 

Berlveley,  1772,  from  Governor  Berkeley. 

Dunmore,  1772,  from  Governor  Dunmore,  but  name  changed  to 
Shenandoah  in  1777. 

Fincastle,  1772,  from  English  country  home  of  Governor  Bote- 

Montgomery,  1776,  from  General  James  Montgomery. 

Washington,  1776,  from  General  George  Washington. 

Kentucky,  1776,  from  Indian  name,  "Dark  and  Bloody  Ground." 

Fincastle,  abolished  in  1776. 

Ohio,  1776,  from  Ohio  River. 

Monongalia,  1776,  from  Indian  name. 

Youghiogeny,  1776,  from  Indian  name.  This  county  was  abol- 
ished when  line  between  Virginia  and  Pennsylvania  was 

Shenandoah,  1772,  name  Indian,  from  River  Sherando,  formerly 
Dunmore  County;  name  changed  in  1777. 

Greenbrier,  1777,  from  many  Greenbriers  along  the  river. 

Rockbridge,  1778,  from  Natural  Bridge. 

Rockingham,  1778,  from  English  name. 

Harrison,  1778,  from  Governor  Benjamin  Harrison,  of  Vir- 

Illinois,  1779,  from  Illinois  Indians;  this  county  passed  from 
Virginia  by  her  cession  of  the  Northwest  Territory. 

Hardy,  1786,  from  Samuel  Hardy,  a  member  of  Congress. 

Russell,  1786,  from  General  William  Russell. 

Randolph,  1787,  from  Edmund  Randolph. 

Pendleton,  1788,  from  Edmund  Pendleton. 

Kanawha,  1789,  from  Indian  Tribe,  Canawhays. 

Wythe,  1790,  from  Judge  George  Wythe. 

Bath,  1791,  from  English  name. 

Lee,  1792,  from  Governor  Henry  Lee,  of  Virginia. 

Grayson,  1793,  from  William  Grayson,  a  member  of  Congress. 

Counties — When  Formed^  Etc.  375 

Brooke,  1797,  from  Governor  Robert  Brooke. 
Monroe,  1799,  from  Governor  James  Monroe. 
Tazewell,  1799,  from  Mr.  Tazewell,  member  House  of  Delegates 

from  Norfolk  County. 
Wood,  1799,  from  Governor  James  W^ood. 
Jefiferson,  1801,  from  Thomas  Jefferson. 
Mason,  1804,  from  Stevens  Thompson  Mason, 
Giles,  180G,  from  Governor  William  B.  Giles. 
Cabell,  1809,  from  Governor  William  H.  Cabell. 
Scott,  1814,  from  General  Winfield  Scott. 
Tyler,  1814,  from  Governor  John  Tyler. 
Lewis,  1816,  from  Colonel  Charles  Lewis. 
Preston,  1818,  from  Governor  James  P.  Preston. 
Nicholas,  1818,  from  Governor  Wilson  C.  Nicholas. 
Morgan,  1820,  from  General  Daniel  Morgan. 
Pocahontas,  1821,  from  the  Indian  Princess. 
Alleghaney,  1822,  from  name  of  Mountain. 
Logan,  1824,  from  Mingo  chief. 
Page,  1831,  from  Governor  John  Page. 
Fayette,  1831,  from  General  LaFayette. 
Floyd,  1831,  from  Governor  John  Floyd. 
Smyth,  1831,  from  General  Alexander  Smyth. 
Jackson,  1831,  from  President  Andrew  Jackson. 
Marshall,  1835,  from  Chief  Justice  John  Marshall. 
Braxton,  1836,  from  Carter  Braxton. 
Clarke,  1836,  from  General  George  Rodgers  Clarke. 
Warren,  1836,  from  General  Warren. 
Mercer,  1837,  from  General  Hugh  Mercer. 
Roanoke,  1838,  from  Indian  name  "Much  Wampum." 
Pulaski,  1839,  from  Count  Pulaski. 
Carroll,  1842,  from  Charles  Carroll,  of  Carrollton. 
Marion,  1842,  from  General  Francis  Marion. 
Wayne,  1842,  from  General  Anthony  Wayne. 
Ritchie,  1843,  from  Thomas  Ritchie. 
Gilmer,  1843,  from  Governor  Thomas  W.  Gilmer. 
Barbour,  1843,  from  Governor  James  Barbour. 

376  New  River  Settlements 

(counties — WHEN  FORMED,  ETC.). 

Taylor,  1844,  from  John  Taylor,  of  Caroline. 

Doddridge,  1845,  from  Philip  Doddridge. 

Wetzel,  1846,  from  Lewis  Wetzel. 

Highland,  1846,  named  from  the  High  land. 

Boone,  1847,  from  Daniel  Boone. 

Wirt,  1848,  from  William  Wirt. 

Hancock,  1848,  from  John  Hancock. 

Putnam,  1848,  from  Israel  Putnam. 

Wyoming,  1848,  from  Wyoming  Indian  Tribe. 

Raleigh,  1850,  from  Sir  Walter  Raleigh. 

Upshur,  1850,  from  Abel  P.  Upshur. 

Craig,  1851,  from  Robert  Craig,  member  of  Congress  from 

Montgomery  County. 
Pleasants,  1851,  from  Governor  James  Pleasants. 
Calhoun,  1855,  from  John  C.  Calhoun. 
Wise,  1855,  from  Governor  Henry  A.  Wise. 
Roane,  1856,  from  Judge  Spencer  Roane. 
Clay,  1856,  from  Henry  Clay. 
Tucker,  1856,  from  Henry  St.  George  Tucker. 
McDowell,  1858,  from  Governor  James  McDowell. 
Buchanan,  1858,  from  President  James  Buchanan. 
Webster,  1860,  from  Daniel  Webster. 
Bland,  1861,  from  Theodoric  Bland. 

Mineral,  1866,  from  mineral  deposits  found  in  that  territory. 
Grant,  1866,  from  General  U.  S.  Grant 
Lincoln,  1867,  from  President  Abraham  Lincoln. 
Summers,  1871,  from  Judge  Lewis  Summers. 
Dickenson,  1880,  from  Mr.  Dickenson  of  that  county. 
Mingo,  1895,  from  Indian  tribe  of  that  name. 



Richard  Bailey  the  elder,  was  a  soldier  in  the  American  army 
during  the  war  of  the  Revolution,  and  his  residence  was  on  the 
Black  water,  in  that  portion  of  Bedford  County,  Virginia, 
which  subsequently  became  a  part  of  Franklin  County.  Rich- 
ard Bailey  married  Miss  Annie  Belcher,  and  their  family  con- 
sisted of  ten  children,  eight  sons  and  two  daughters.  The  sons 
were  John,  James,  Eli,  Micajah,  Archibald,  Reuben,  Richard, 
and  Henry.  Mr.  Bailey  came  with  his  family  to  the  Beaver 
Pond  spring  in  the  year  of  1780,  and  together  with  John  G. 
Davidson,  built  the  block-house  or  fort  near  that  spring  which 
was  afterwards  known  as  the  '^Davidson-Bailey  Fort."  Aside 
from  Mr.  Davidson  and  his  family,  Mr.  Bailey's  neighbors  were 
Captain  James  Moore,  in  Abb's  Valley,  some  ten  miles  away; 
Mitchell  Clay,  on  the  Bluestone  at  the  Clover  Bottom,  about 
twelve  miles  away;  Joshua  Day,  at  the  mouth  of  Laurel  Fork 
of  Wolf  Creek,  about  fifteen  miles  away;  Hickman  Compton, 
on  Clear  Fork  of  Wolf  Creek,  eight  miles  away,  and  Gideon 
Wright,  at  the  head  of  the  South  Fork  of  Bluestone,  twelve 
miles  away.  The  sons  of  Richard  Bailey,  especially  the  elder 
ones,  were  great  Indian  scouts  and  fighters,  and  were  splendid 
specimens  of  physical  strength  and  manhood  and  of  great  per- 
sonal courage. 

John  Bailey,  the  eldest  son,  married  Nancy  Davidson,  the 
daughter  of  John  G.  Davidson,  and,  in  1789,  he  built  a  log 
house  on  the  south  side  of  Bowyer's  branch,  on  the  farm  now 
owned  by  Thompson  Calfee — this  building  is  still  standing  at 
this  writing — and  in  which  Mr.  Jonathan  Bailey,  their  oldest 
son,  was  born  in  1790,  and  when  he  was  but  four  days  old  an 
Indian  incursion  into  the  neighborhood  caused  Mr.  Bailey  to 

378  New  River  Settlements 

take  his  wife  and  child  on  horseback  to  the  fort  at  the  Beaver 

Henry  Bailey,  the  youngest  son  of  Richard  the  elder,  married 
a  Miss  Peters,  daughter  of  John  Peters,  of  New  River.  Among 
the  sons  of  Henry  were  John  P.,  Elijah,  Colonel  James  M., 
Philip  P.,  and  Major  William  R.  Bailey.  John  P.  Bailey  went 
to  Texas  in  the  forties.  Elijah  was  quite  a  prominent  citizen 
in  his  day,  having  been  a  member  of  the  House  of  Delegates  of 
Virginia  from  the  Counties  of  Giles  and  Mercer,  and  was  after- 
ward sheriff  of  Mercer  County  and  long  a  Justice  of  the  Peace 
of  said  county.  Colonel  James  M.  also  represented  Mercer 
County  in  the  House  of  Delegates,  and  was  a  colonel  of  militia ; 
and  William  R.  was  likewise  a  major  in  the  Mercer  militia. 

Nancy,  one  of  the  daughters  of  Henry,  married  Charles  W. 
Calfee,  who  was  long  the  Clerk  of  the  Mercer  County  Court. 
Elizabeth  first  married  William  Ferguson  and  subsequently  the 
Rev.  Carroll  Clark.  Jane  married  Wilson  D.  Calfee,  and  Polly 
first  married  James  Bailey,  and,  after  his  death,  married  John 
Bailey ;  she  was  a  woman  of  strong  good  sense  and  intellect. 

From  the  elder  Richard  Bailey,  the  first  settler,  descended  all 
the  numerous  families  by  that  name,  now  scattered  over  several 
of  the  counties  of  West  Virginia,  particularly  Mercer,  Mc- 
Dowell, Wyoming,  and  Logan,  and  in  Tazewell  County,  Vir- 

Robert  H.  Bailey,  a  great  grandson  of  the  elder  Richard,  has 
been  prominent  in  county  affairs.  Estill  Baile^',  another  great 
grandson,  is  now  the  Clerk  of  the  County  Court  of  Mercer 
County.  Many  of  this  family  are  prominent  citizens  of  ad- 
jacent counties;  among  them  may  be  mentioned  Theodore  F. 
Bailey,  of  Wyoming.  Nearly  all  who  bore  that  name,  during 
our  great  civil  strife,  were  gallant  and  brave  soldiers. 


This  family  is  of  Scottish  origin.     The  founder  thereof  in 
America — at  least  of  those  of  the  name  who  came  across  the 

The  Bane  Family.  379 

Alleghanies — was  James  Bane,  who  came,  in  1688,  to  New 
Castle,  Delaware.  He  had  left  his  country  because  of  political 
ostracism,  and  sought  shelter  in  the  land  soon  destined  to  be 
free.  He  bought  valuable  lands  of  William  Penn  in  what  was 
then,  or  had  been,  Pennsylvania. 

James,  one  of  the  descendants  of  the  first  named  James, 
came  into  the  Virginia  Valley  about  1748,  and  there  married, 
in  1751,  Kebecca  McDonald,  a  granddaughter  of  Bryan  and 
Mary  Combs  McDonald,  of  New  Castle,  Delaware.  It  would 
seem  most  probable — as  some  of  the  McDonalds  were  settled 
between  1738  and  1744  in  Beverly's  Manor,  near  to  where  the 
present  city  of  Staunton,  Virginia,  is  situated — that  he  mar- 
ried his  wife,  Rebecca,  in  that  neighborhood,  and  thence  re- 
moved to  the  Roanoke  section  near  where  Salem  now  stands, 
about  1763,  where  he  remained  until  a  flood  in  the  Roanoke 
River  drove  him  to  and  beyond  the  summit  of  the  Alleghanies, 
into  what  is  now  Montgomery  County.  He  came,  probably, 
about  1775 — at  any  rate  he  had  frequently  to  take  shelter  from 
the  Indians  in  Barger's  Fort,  on  Tom's  Creek.  His  son,  James, 
married  Bettie,  the  daughter  of  John  Haven,  of  Plum  Creek, 
in  Montgomery,  about  1776,  and  from  thence  he  removed  to 
Walker's  Creek  in  1793.  He  had  a  large  family  of  children, 
viz :  12 ;  Mary  married  John  Henderson,  Howard  married  Miss 
Hickman,  and  a  daughter  of  Howard  married  Colonel  Erastus 
G.  Harman,  of  Bluestone;  Colonel  James  married  Mary  Hend- 
erson December  31st,  1801 ;  Annie  married Wilson, 

Sara  married  John  Carr,  Rebecca  married  Burke, 

John  married  Mary  Chapman,  Jesse  married  Jane  Carr,  Ed- 
ward and  Joseph  died  unmarried,  Elizabeth  married  William 
Carr,  William  Haven  married  Sallie  Snidow. 

Colonel  James  Bane  and  his  wife,  Mary  Henderson  Bane,  had 
the  following  children  :  Sallie,  who  never  married ;  Elizabeth 
married  Tobias  Miller;  Maria  married  Madison  Allen,  John 
H.  married  Nancy  Shannon,  Jane  S.  married  John  Crockett 
Graham,  William  married  Jane  Grayson,  Nancy  married 
Thomas  Jefl'erson  Higginbotham,  and   Samuel  married  Lucy 

380  New  Riveb  Sbttlbmbnts 

B.  Baker.  A  daughter  of  William  Bane  married  John  D. 
Snidow,  and  Mr.  William  Bane  Snidow,  a  prominent  lawyer  of 
Pearisburg,  Virginia,  is  tlieir  son.  All  of  this  family  of  Banes, 
who  were  in  the  war  1861-5,  were  good  soldiers;  a  number  of 
them  were  killed  and  wounded.  Joseph  Edward  Bane  was 
killed  in  the  first  battle  of  Manassas,  and  Major  John  T.  Bane 
was  a  distinguished  soldier  in  Hood's  Texas  Brigade.  Of  this 
family  have  come  some  of  the  very  best  citizens  of  Giles  and 
surrounding  counties.  Donald  Bane  succeeded  Malcolm  III  as 
King  of  Scotland  between  the  years  1093-1153. 


Isham  Belcher  married  a  Miss  Hodges,  in  Franklin  County, 
Virginia,  and  came  to  what  is  now  Mercer  County,  then  Wythe, 
in  1796,  and  settled  on  what  is  known  as  the  Waldron  farm, 
about  two  miles  Southeast  of  the  present  city  of  Bluefield.  He 
was  a  nephew  of  Phoebe  Clay,  the  wife  of  Mitchell  Clay,  the 
elder.  Isham  Belcher  and  wife  had  a  family  of  thirteen  chil- 
dren, eleven  sons  and  two  daughters;  the  sons  were  Obediah, 
Isham,  Jesse,  Asa,  Henry  D.,  John,  Micajah,  Jonathan,  Moses, 
James,  and  Robert  D.  From  Isham  Belcher,  the  elder,  de- 
scended all  the  people  of  that  name  scattered  over  a  number  of 
the  counties  of  Southern  West  Virginia.  Captain  George  W. 
Belcher,  a  grandson  of  the  elder  Isham,  Alexander  Belcher  and 
many  of  that  name  and  blood  were  bold,  courageous  Confeder- 
ate soldiers  in  our  civil  war. 


The  Rev.  Dr.  Samuel  Black,  a  minister  in  the  Presbyterian 
Church — of  Scotch  extraction — was  born  in  1700;  educated  in 
Edinburg,  Scotland,  and  licensed  to  preach  at  Glasgow;  came 
to  America  in  1735,  and  first  located  at  and  had  charge  of  the 
church  in  Brandywiue  Manor  in  Chester  County,  Pennsylvania. 
Later  he  removed  to  Albemarle  County,  Virginia,  where  he  was 

The  Barnes  Family.  381 

pastor  of  Joy  and  Mountain  Plains  Churches  for  the  remainder 
of  his  long  and  useful  life. 

His  sons,  John  and  William,  came  across  the  Alleghanies 
and  settled  nearby  where  the  town  of  Blacksburg,  in  Mont- 
gomery County,  is  now  situated.  The  year  of  their  coming 
seems  not  definitely  known,  but  it  was  during  the  border  Indian 
wars.  John  had  married  Miss  Jane  Alexander,  who,  with  an 
infant  son,  he  brought  with  him  into  the  wilderness,  where 
with  the  aid  of  a  servant  he  erected  a  dwelling  house  which  was 
shortly  thereafter  burned  by  the  Indians,  he  and  his  family 
escaping  to  the  woods  and  finally  to  Augusta,  where  he  left  his 
family  until  he  could  erect  another  dwelling,  which  he  turned 
into  a  fort  for  protection  against  the  Savages.  He  served  in 
the  American  army  during  our  war  for  Indpendence,  under 
General  William  Campbell,  and  was  with  him  at  the  time  of 
the  treaty  with  the  Indians,  at  Long  Island,  Tennessee.  Two 
of  his  sons  were  in  the  war  of  1812,  and  one  of  them,  Matthew, 
died  in  the  service.  Five  of  his  sons  went  to  the  state  of  Ohio, 
where  their  descendants  now  live.  His  daughter,  Susan,  who 
married  Stephen  McDonald,  went  to  Missouri;  Mary,  another 
daughter,  married  Walter  Crockett,  and  they  went  to  the 
Pacific  coast;  while  the  son,  Alexander,  remained  at  Blacks- 
burg. John  Black  lived  to  the  age  of  ninety-four  years;  his 
wife,  Jane  Alexander,  was  of  the  family  of  that  name,  some  of 
whom  settled  in  the  county  of  Monroe. 

William  Black  gave  the  land  on  which  the  town  of  Blacks- 
burg, Virginia,  now  stands,  and  which  was  incorporated  by  the 
General  Assembly  of  Virginia,  in  the  year  of  1798.  By  this  act 
George  Rutledge,  John  Black,  James  P.  Preston,  Edward  Rut- 
ledge,  William  Black  and  John  Preston  were  made  trustees. 
William  Black  removed  to  the  county  of  Albemarle  in  the  year 
of  1800. 


Robert  Barnes,  born  in  Ireland  in  1765,  first  settled  in  Mary- 

382  New  River  Settlements 

land,  removed  to  Rockbridge  County,  Virginia,  and  from  there 
to  the  Clinch  River  section,  now  in  Tazewell  County,  Virginia. 
He  married  Grace  Brown,  and  they  had  two  sons:  William 
Barnes,  born  1790,  and  John  Barnes,  born  1798.  William 
Barnes  married  Levicie  Ward.  John  Barnes  married  Lilly 
Heldieth  as  his  first  wife,  and  as  his  second  Eliza  Allen. 

The  names  of  the  children  of  William  Barnes  are  as  follows : 
Robert,  married  Ella  Gibson ;  Clinton,  married  Sarah  Gilles- 
pie ;  Oscar  F.,  married  Mary  Gillespie ;  John,  married  Margaret 
Smith; Mary,  married  William  T.  Moore; Nancy,  married  James 
Harrison ;  Amanda,  married  Moses  Higginbotham ;  Rebecca, 
died  unmarried;  Sallie  W.,  married  Captain  D.  B.  Baldwin; 
Eliza,  married  A.  J.  Copenhaver. 

John  Barnes  had  one  son,  William,  who  died  unmarried,  in 
the  Confederate  army. 

John  Ward,  who  married  Nancy  Bowen,  was  the  father  of 
Levicie,  who  married  William  Barnes;  and  the  children  of  the 
said  John  Ward  and  Nancy  Bowen  are  as  follows :  Levicie, 
married  Wliliajn  Barnes;  Jane,  married  Robert  Gillespie; 
Rebecca,  married  William  Crawford;  Lilly,  married  John  Hill; 
Nancy,  married  Mr.  Hargrave;  Henry,  married  Sallie  Wilson; 
Reece,  married  Levicie  Richardson;  Rufus,  married  Elizabeth 
Wilson;  David  and  John,  unmarried. 

the  BOWENS^  of  TAZEWELL. 

This  family  is  of  Welch  extraction,  and  the  immediate  an- 
cestors of  those  that  came  hither  were,  long  prior  to  the  Amer- 
ican Revolution,  located  and  settled  about  Fredericktown,  in 
western  Maryland.  Restive  in  disposition  and  fond  of  adven- 
ture, like  all  of  their  blood,  they  sought,  fairly  early  after  the 
first  white  settlements  were  made  in  the  Valley  of  Virginia, 
to  loolj:,for  homes  in  that  direction.  How  early,  or  the  exact 
date,  mat  Reece  Bowen,  the  progenitor  of  the  Tazewell  family 
of  that  name,  came  into  the  Virginia  Valley  from  his  western 
Maryland  home,  cannot  be  named  with  certainty;  doubtless  he 


The  Bowens^  op  Tazewell.  383 

came  as  early  as  1765,  for  it  is  known  that  for  a  few  years  prior 
to  1772,  when  he  located  at  Maiden  Spring,  he  was  living  on 
the  Roanoke  River,  close  by  where  the  city  of  Roanoke  is  now 
situated.  In  the  Valley  of  Virginia,  where  Harrisonburg  is  ,;  ,^,t 
now  situated,  then  in  Augusta  County,  he  married  Miss.Louisa 
Smith,  who  proved  to  him  not  only  a  loving  and  faithful  wife, 
but  a  great  helpmeet  in  his  border  life.  She  was  evidently  a 
woman  of  more  than  ordinary  intelligence  and  cultivation  for 
one  of  her  day  and  opportunity.  She  was  a  small,  neat  and 
trim  woman,  weighing  only  about  one  hundred  pounds,  while 
her  husband  was  a  giant  in  size  and  strength.  It  is  told  as  a 
fact  that  she  could  step  into  her  husband's  hand  and  that  he 
could  stand  and  extend  his  arm,  holding  her  at  right  angle  to 
his  body. 

Prize  fighting  was  quite  common  in  the  early  days  of  the  set- 
tlements, by  which  men  tested  their  manhood  and  prowess. 
The  man  who  could  demolish  all  who  chose  to  undertake  him 
was  the  champion,  and  wore  the  belt  until  some  man  flogged 
him,  and  then  he  had  to  surrender  it.  At  some  period  after 
Reece  Bowen  had  settled  on  the  Roanoke,  and  after  the  first 
child  came  into  the  home,  Mrs.  Bowen  desiring  to  pay  a  visit  to 
her  people  in  the  Valley,  she  and  her  babe  and  husband  set  out 
on  horse-back  along  the  narrow  bridle  way  that  then  led 
through  the  valley,  and  on  the  way  they  met  a  man  clad  in  the 
usual  garb  of  the  day — that  is,  buck-skin  trousers,  moccasins, 
and  hunting  shirt,  or  wampus.  The  stranger  inquired  of  Mr. 
Bowen  his  name,  which  he  gave  him ;  proposed  a  fight  for  the 
belt,  stating  that  he  understood  that  he,  Bowen,  now  wore  or 
had  the  belt.  Bowen  tried  to  beg  off,  stating  that  he  was  tak- 
ing his  wife  and  child,  the  latter  then  in  his  arms,  to  her  people. 
The  man  would  take  no  excuse ;  finally  Mrs.  Bowen  said  to  her 
husband:  ''Reece,  give  me  the  child  and  get  down  and  slap 
that  man's  jaws."  Mr.  Bowen  alighted  from  his  horse,  took  the 
man  by  the  lapel  of  his  hunting  shirt,  gave  him  a  few  quick, 
heavy  jerks,  when  the  man  called  out  to  let  him  go,  he  had 

384  New  River  Settlements 

It  is  also  related  of  Mr.  Bowen,  that  in  a  later  prize  fight, 
at  Maiden  Spring,  with  a  celebrated  prize  fighter  who  had, 
with  his  seconds,  come  from  South  Carolina  to  fight  Bowen, 
and  when  he  reached  Bowen's  home  and  made  known  to  him 
his  business,  he,  Mr.  Bowen,  did  what  he  could  in  an  honorable 
way  to  excuse  himself  from  engaging  in  a  fight;  but  the  man 
was  persistent  and  Bowen  concluded  to  accommodate  him  and 
sent  for  his  seconds — a  Mr.  Smith  and  a  Mr.  Clendenin.  The 
fight  took  place  and  the  gentleman  from  South  Carolina  came 
off  second  best. 

Just  when  Reece  Bowen  first  saw  the  territory  of  what  is  now 
Tazewell  County  cannot  be  definitely  stated.  Whether  he  was 
one  of  the  large  hunting  party  organized  of  men  from  the 
Virginia  Valley,  North  Carolina  and  New  River,  which  rendez- 
voused at  Ingles'  ferry  in  June,  1769,  and  hunted  on  the  waters 
of  the  Holstein,  Powell's  River,  Clinch,  and  in  Kentucky,  is 
not  known;  his  name  does  not  appear  among  the  number,  but 
the  writer,  "Haywood's  Civil  and  Political  History  of  Ten- 
nessee," does  not  profess  to  give  all  the  names  of  the  party. 
Nevertheless  it  is  highly  probable  that  Bowen  was  along,  or 
he  may  have  gone  out  with  the  party  the  next  year,  or  he  may 
have  met  with  the  Witten's,  and  others,  on  their  way  out  in 
1771,  and  joined  them.  He  seems  not  to  have  made  his  settle- 
ment at  Maiden  Spring  until  the  year  of  1772.  He  went  with 
Captain  William  Russell's  company  to  the  battle  of  Point 
Pleasant,  in  1774,  leaving  home  in  August  of  that  year,  and 
leaving  Daniel  Boone  in  command  of  that  part  of  the  frontier. 
As  already  stated  in  this  volume,  Boone  had  been  forced  to